More Newsbites 7-14 volume 2 - Fat Tax, Obese Kids Suffer

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Here is your next installment of the week's foodie news:

British researchers urge the government to impose a tax on high fat foods - They claim such a tax will prevent 3000 cardiovascular deaths a year. Their findings are modeled after the resultant decreased consumption of cigarettes due to a Value Added Tax (VAT) in that country. Of course the food industry doesn't like this idea, but would you expect them too? Interestingly enough, did you know the Brits have already added a 17.5 cent tax to some sweets, ice cream, savory snacks and most drinks? But, it doesn't look like the British government will act on the fat tax recommendation. They put the cabash on the proposal claiming a fat tax would be unworkable. Shucks... (published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health).

Quality of life for obese kids similar to kids with cancer - The intense stigmatization obese children suffer is too blame. This according to a review of childhood obesity stigmatization studies conducted over the last 40 years. And it's not just from other kids teasing or rejecting them at school. Parents, teachers and the media are also to blame. Parents often perpetuate the problem and teachers don't necessarily come to the defense of an overweight child when he is being bullied by his classmates. The authors conclude that weight discrimination is as a great a problem as race discrimination and more emphasis must be placed on protecting these children in addition to implementing more pediatric weight management programs around the country. I couldn't agree more. Stigmatizing the overweight only makes the problem worse.

Let's be careful what we say about other people's bodies and encourage our children to be more sensitive too. (For more on this study go to the July issue of the Psychological Bulletin)

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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.

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