The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

If you want to be a big fat British slob, you're going to have to be a big fat well-off British slob, if the proposed taxation on fatty foods sold in the UK becomes reality.

As much as this sort of thing would raise the hackles of opponents of additional governmental reach, I think this proposal makes sense. Obesity (or even overweight conditions short of that) leads to widespread health problems, and that eventually impacts the economy and society. Everything from worker productivity to healthcare feel the resulting pressure. Consumers and the market alone, even with plenty of motivation, just won't solve this alone. I'm no advocate of a hand-holding state, but in this case, it's a good idea for government to prime the pump.

Obviously, there's plenty of precedent for government taking action in the name of public health. I don't know what the track record is in the UK, but over here, everything from anti-smoking efforts to the Federally-determined Food Pyramid came as a result of government support.