Education alone won't change childhood obesity

I’m not normally in favour of new taxes or the nanny state. But the problem of childhood obesity isn’t going to be fixed with a little more education and the expectation that parents and kids are going to start making healthy choices without anything else changing.

All of the evidence suggests that the entire food system needs to be overhauled and that kind of change requires the government to get involved. Modern families aren’t lazier or more foolish than their ancestors. Today, it’s much more difficult to buy and eat fresh, healthy food. Like the tobacco companies, major food manufacturers are concerned only with selling more of their products, not with the wellness of their customers.

egardless of where the responsibility lies, the cost to the health care system is enormous, so we all have an interest in seeing the problem addressed. New policies, like a tax on sugary drinks, will save the system billions of dollars and also save thousands of lives. It’s time to drop the ideological arguments against government intervention and simply focus on the evidence-based solutions that solve what is now public health emergency.

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