Britain’s sugar tax: Free Health Care “working” or not?

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Last night, I read an article written by Sarah Knapton, Sugar tax to pay for obesity (2015). The government has decided to run interference with foods sold and advertised that contain an excess amount of sugar. Britain’s response to their growing number of obesity, which is about 25%, is a sugar tax. The only way to avoid this is to agree to sell/manufacturer products with less sugar. They clearly are very serious, because one company, Tesco, has agreed to do this. They’ve agreed to, “… commit to reducing sugar across its entire drinks range. From next year, its own-brand drinks will contain 5 per cent less sugar each year for the foreseeable future.” Really?

Weight loss is a conscious decision. You can binge on healthy foods and still gain weight. I think this law takes responsibility from the consumers. Because the government has decided to do this, there’s no way the citizens are in support of this law. if they were, all they would need to do is boycott any high sugar content drinks, which will force the manufacturers to cut its content? Right? Britain also has a free health care system, so in that perspective I can understand it. The government is responsible for paying all health care cost. It’s essential to control cost for medical expenses and diagnoses that are devastatingly expensive, such as diabetes and heart disease.

In the United States, we’ve grown about 27.7% in the obesity community, according to Gallup (2015). We are getting fat! In the United States, we have very expensive health care. However, consumers share the brunt of their health care treatment. Health care is a business in the United States, not a commodity or gift. I have a Health Savings Account (HSA) medical plan. I chose this plan on purpose, because i want to control my cost of care. I like the idea of being able to shop around for my doctor, based on price. I also like the flexibility in choosing any doctor, when I need to, regardless of cost, but for quality. There are some pros and cons, in choosing this type of plan. For me, the good outweighs the bad. I don’t mind the higher deductible.

It will be interesting to see if making the manufactures more responsible than the consumer will work. This is just my opinion, it’s very possible they have some data that will support this decision. Some questions I would really like to ask Britain’s officials:

  1. How will you control the sugar at home?
  2. Are you going to take sugar off the shelves, or make it a taxable item?
  3. How are you going to drive accountability and good decision-making among the consumers?
  4. When will the government decide, if the numbers continue to rise, that this weight loss happens in the home, not legislature? Or are we on a wait and see list?

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