Is taxing the fat the only way forward? (BBC report)

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Brits top the league table of the fattest nations in Europe and experts fear that soon we’ll be dealing with all the supersize problems that come with it.

The concern is that by 2020 a quarter of our children will be clinically obese, that by 2050 we will be spending £32 bn a year treating obesity-related illnesses as we face a 20 per cent rise in heart disease and a staggering 70 per cent rise in type 2 diabetes.

And those experts point the finger of blame firmly at our continuing consumption of junk foods.

They’re now making the case for government moving beyond suggesting we remember our five-a-day and take a greater role in dealing with our ever-expanding waistlines.

So Panorama is asking whether it’s time to tax the fat?

Would putting up the price of junk food – with its high sugar and fat content – cut these rising obesity rates in the same way as a tax on cigarettes – vigorously contested by the tobacco industry at the time – has helped reduce smoking?

In ‘Tax the Fat’, Panorama delves into the rich British Pathe archive to take the viewer back to a time when the link between human behaviour and ill-health was still a matter of conjecture – as shown by this Ministry of Health report that smoking might cause lung cancer.

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