March 01

A sweet death


At long, long last societal disapproval of those who smoke cigarettes has become the norm. How long will it now be before the same scorn is applied to those eating unhealthy sugary foods?

Australia is about to embark on a social engineering escapade unmatched in scope in our history. The fight against fat is about to begin in earnest.

It comes as excessive sugar consumption is destroying not just lives but severely damaging our national budget through soaring medical and hospital costs associated with our obesity epidemic. The cost is put at $56 billion a year.

The tragedy is stark: two in every three Aussies are officially overweight or obese. Worse is to come as 75% of our youngsters are wolfing down more sugar than ever before. Nearly 7% of us have Type 2 diabetes and just under 300 new cases a DAY are being diagnosed.

The federal government has just released a 47-point Obesity Control Plan developed by 100 nutritionists. It will attempt to stop the sale of junk foods in school canteens and sporting venues with a possible tax on sugary drinks very much on the agenda.

There will be many in the Tweed associated with the sugar industry who will decry this as nanny state nonsense. There is some truth in that given naivety of some of the recommendations. But someone has to save foolish people from themselves when the greater good is threatened.

One in every 8 dollars outlaid by the federal government is going to rectify sugar damage. That simply has to be halted. And given that this burden is primarily due to lack of discipline or refusal to heed health warnings, those who are creating the cost should substantially bear the repair burden.

The sugar lobby will scream blue murder. Let them. And ignore them. They are no better than drug dealers peddling death in dark alleys.

We have been warned for a decade about the dangers of this epidemic. We refused to listen so who do we have to blame?

Image: Mariamicheelle