Wednesday 5 October 2011

Are You Really Going To Tax Salmon And Dark Chocolate, Cameron?

Following from my earlier post today, via CCF here are some examples of foods which would be affected if Cameron's mooted fat tax becomes reality.

The tax applies to any food that is more than 2.3 percent saturated fat. Looking at the USDA's nutrient database, avocados appear to just miss the cut, but cashews fall under the tax. So do salmon, eggs, and dark chocolate.

Salmon, of course, is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Dark chocolate is linked to lower blood pressure. Harvard calls eggs “a good source of nutrients.” And do these nuts think nuts clog arteries?

A tax may well discourage consumption of these products. And we’ve seen no credible evidence that a tax will do anything to boost the health of Danes.
This is true.

In fact, the jury isn't just out on the health benefits of restricting saturated fats, it's in the next town having a beer and a ploughman's and discussing if such a move could end up being damaging. As these four recent studies argue.

On physical activity and weight loss.

"In Framingham, Mass, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person's serum cholesterol...we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol,ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least, and were the most physically active"
On the danger to youth development.

"There is ... evidence of low intakes of several vitamins and minerals (including folate, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron) amongst adolescents, particularly teenage girls, some of whom appear to be avoiding important sources of these micronutrients (e.g. milk and meat) in the mistaken belief that they are ‘fattening’. Dietary strategies to combat obesity must not prevent normal growth or development. Too much emphasis on body weight and body image might also promote eating disorders in this age group."
On the threat of resultant Vitamin deficiency.

"Standard interventions, like Pathways: a school based, randomized controlled trial for the prevention of obesity in American Indian schoolchildren, focus on reducing dietary saturated fat. This approach, as per the results of Pathways, has not been successful.

Saturated fat reduction may also contribute to a growing problem of fat soluble vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D3 deficiency has garnered the most attention, but deficiency in other animal fat derived vitamins (e.g. vitamin K2) is also of concern, and these may have implications for nervous system bone and immune system development as well as diseases like Type 1 diabetes mellitus or autism."
And on the consequences for diabetics.

"Addition of saturated fat and removal of starch from a high-monounsaturated fat and starch-restricted diet improved glycemic control and were associated with weight loss without detectable adverse effects on serum lipids."
Stupid idea, Dave. Put a sock in it.


Anonymous said...

Will our wonderous politicians ever realize what useless gullible prats they are?
They constantly suck up to their own funded advisers and ignore chaos and contempt throughout the Country.

Curmudgeon said...

I lolled at this on Leg-iron's blog ;-)

Mind you, I think they're trying to bite off more than they can chew. Tax cheese and butter? How ridiculous. Best to adopt more of a, er, salami-slicing method.

Mr A said...

Yes, this is truly dangerous. There is growing evidence that lower carb/ higher fat and protein diets are far healthier than the low fat/high carb diets that have (coincidentally?)been promoted during the big rise in obesity we have seen in recent decades. There are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. There are no essential carbs.

By adopting such stupid measures they could be doing actual harm to the nation's health!

All the more reason for the State to keep its nose out of people's business. If you want to eat chips and chocolate all day then fine, but don't be surprised when you get fat. But this sort of measure, when forced upon people by the State, is just insane and shows how stupid politicians are and how dangerous "public health experts" (with their various vested interests) are.

So presumably under such a measure olive oil will be taxed as it is 100% fat? And coconut oil which, with its high content of medium chain triglycerides, makes it a uniquely healthy oil. But no - they're taking advice from bumpkins who think that "5 a day" is sound advice based on cutting edge nutritional principles. Advice is one thing. Forcing people to eat certain foods because of it, foods which can adversely affect their health, is another.

Barnacle Bill said...

It's all smoke and mirrors, what they are really after is more of our money; dressing it up like a health tax is because their duplicitious feckers!

Woman on a Raft said...

Oi, Cameron, step away from the chocolate mousse. Or Else.

I'm not bloody joking, moosh.

Dr Evil said...

You are absolutely correct. A tax like this is a bad move. It affects foods that are in fact very healthy such as the salmon.

Ian Thorpe said...

It's almost as mad as this weks other meddest idead to come out of the Depsartment Of Madness Studies Utterlymad University, Madchester, Madcashire, that of putting suplphour compounds, the stuff that makes acid raid, in the upper atmosphere to cool the planet.

Anonymous said...

Presumably his enthusiasm for healthy things and burdens on the State stem from the guilt he feels at his cavalier attitude as a first time parent.

A simple fluid sample and a scan in the early satges of pregnancy would have avoided all that as well as five years of suffering to an innocent.

Maybe he'll get around to touching on that sometime, or maybe he'll try to continue the charade that he's a responsible, upright, fault free adult with the moral authority to impose his idealistic views on others.

Angela Harbutt said...

Mr Puddlecote - a simply delicious post. Have quoted you over on Liberal Vision.

Natasya said...

wooow ... i like