The Chief medical officer is considering a tax on all unhealthy foods in a bid to reduce the levels of childhood obesity and persuade parents to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.A review by Prof Dame Sally Davies will examine these ideas as well as further measures in order to halve the levels of childhood obesity by 2030 after more than 20,000 of primary school children were classed as obsese when they left primary school last year.Although the food industry has claimed that adding taxes on high-calorie foods like cakes, pizzas and ready meal would not prevent consumers from purchasing them, Dame Sally is giving it serious thought.”I want parents to be incentivised to buy healthy food,” she told BBC News. “We need to make sure that fresh fruit and vegetables are cheap.”Maybe we have to subsidise them by charging more, by taxing unhealthy food. Parents are then nudged to buy the healthy version because it’s cheaper.“I want the basket of food parents buy not to cost any more.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. It comes after Dame Sally announced in December that she wanted to pressure the government to force further cuts to sugar and salt in everyday food, following on the success of the tax on sugary drinks introduced in 2017. Show more But her suggested plans, which now include an added tax on sugary baby food, are yet to be finalised.The ideas follow Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s suggestion of parenting classes to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic.On Wednesday, Mr Hancock told The Daily Telegraph he believed in “targeted support” for families, highlighting a scheme in Leeds which has been the first British city to see a fall in people developing weight problems.He was speaking after new research warned that eating “ultra processed foods”, including, sausages could increase the risk of early death by 60 per cent.Two studies, published in the BMJ this week, link ready meals and other foods containing high levels of added fat and sugar to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.The new research found that those eating four portions daily of these items had a 62 per cent increased mortality risk, compared with those consuming less than two servings daily.
Chief medical officer considers taxing all unhealthy food
Last Updated on: September 25th, 2019 at 3:49 am, by