IS the next tax on the cards a ‘fat tax’ on convenience foods to help fight the obesity problem?
University of Newcastle senior lecturer in sociology Dr John Germov will discuss this issue and more when he speaks on Social determinants of obesity at the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology Inc (AIFST) ’s 38th Annual Convention in Sydney from 10 to 13 July.
“When food is plentiful and cheap over-consumption can become a potential health problem, which is epitomised by current concerns over the obesity pandemic,” Dr Germov said.
“The increasing availability and affordability of energy-dense food, exemplified by ‘fast food’, has contributed to the rise of an ‘obesogenic’ social environment.”
Whilst fast food has contributed to the situation Dr Germov says that the obesity problem isn’t just black and white.
Obese people are commonly told to diet or lose weight but Dr Germov says that this advice won’t necessarily lead to a healthier lifestyle.
“People can loose weight if they take up smoking or drugs; this doesn’t mean they will live a healthier life. It has also been proven that diets don’t really work, within two years most people put the weight back on.
“I’ll be providing an overview of the current debates and present a range of social interventions, other than just loosing weight, we can adopt to combat this problem.
“I’ll cover issues such as the ‘fat tax’ whereby convenience foods are less accessible as they cost more, the implementation of healthy canteens in schools, health warnings on food and child advertising restrictions.”
Dr Germov is one of six speakers covering Obesity influences and causes in two sessions on 13 July at 11.15 am and 2.15 pm respectively.