There’s some troubling news in this week’s links!
Check out the article below in the Guardian on the new Fat tax in Denmark:
This is very worrying indeed, as it is very likely our government will follow suit in the not too distant future.
I personally am opposed to the concept of taxing unhealthy foods in general – Even if they actually taxed the unhealthy foods! I believe that people should be free to make their own decisions about what they put in their mouths, and that the government should stay well out of it.
Unfortunately, we have the worst of both worlds here, where the government are not only intervening by deciding what we should and shouldn’t eat, but are also targeting completely the wrong foods!
Check out a couple of interesting graphs:
Can you see that clear link between saturated fat consumption, obesity and coronary heart disease? Clear enough to introduce a tax? No neither do I.
Some notable quotes from the Guardian article:
But then Denmark might not be the best place to experiment with a “fat tax” on lardy products. “You know, Danes are big fans of butter,” Buch Jensen mused. “We love fat.”
They love butter and fat, and yet have some of the lowest incidences of obesity and heart disease, hmm.
He added: “Knowing the Danes, it could have the opposite effect. Like naughty children, when they are told not to do something, they do it even more.
Perhaps this is the highly intelligent Danish plan – Health through reverse psychology!
Some experts argue that fat is the wrong target and that salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates should be tackled instead, but Dr Colin Waine, former chairman of the National Obesity Forum, welcomed the move. “All these things need to be looked at, but saturated fats have a higher calorie content than carbohydrates. I don’t think you can do everything all at once.”
This guy is a doctor, and was a former chairman of the National Obesity Forum. Unbelievable!
As I said before, I don’t believe taxation is the right approach, even if they were actually targeting the foods that actually make people fat and sick, such as sugar, processed grains and vegetable oils.
Ironically, in the US, corn production is actually subsidised by tax payers money, resulting in the ubiquitous HFCS. It seems like we are heading towards a situation where we will actually be taxing healthy, nutritious whole foods such as butter, cream and red meat, and using that money to fund the production of highly processed junk food. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.
In other news, scientists have found a link between sleep patterns and BMI in Children. Here are links to an article in the Indian Times, and the original abstract:
Interesting stuff, but its a shame that we don’t have access to the full info. What about those that slept early and woke late and vice versa? Also, is it possible that though the late to bed group had the same time in bed, did the late night exposure to computer screens and intense mental stimulation affect the quality of their sleep?
Yet another example of bad science presented as fact, this time Prostate Cancer and Eggs:
Could it be the choline or the cholesterol (both compounds essential to human health), or could it be the alcohol and cigarettes? Well we already tax both of those, so better focus on the eggs…
Finally, here’s a video of Steve Jobs’s address to Stamford University in 2005. Whether you view them as good or bad, Jobs’s technological innovations have had a huge impact on the ways in which we live our lives, and this speech has some insightful observations on life: