A new plan to tax unhealthy food, with the aim of slowing the obesity epidemic and its influence on the development of type 2 diabetes, would not be effective, according to health experts in Australia . Furthermore, the tax would be inefficient and unfair to the poor, experts claim.
A ‘fat tax’ has been under discussion for some time. Lynne Pezzullo, an economics health expert, told the international obesity conference in Sydney that a tax of this type was misguided and would hurt the non-obese poor. The tax also assumed that the type of food was the problem, and not the amount of food consumed.
Speaking to the Australia, she said: “Subsidies that change the price of food haven’t been shown to be effective at this stage. There’s no strong evidence one way or the other.”
Mrs Pezzullo argued for lighter intervention by governments, including partnerships within the private sector to encourage healthy eating and subsidies. Her view is in stark contrast to that of the International Obesity Taskforce who called for intervention last month.
An opponent to her view, an Australian health promotion expert, said: “We have an environment and a culture and an economy that promotes obesity – every message you get is about how you can consume more and be more inactive.”

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