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No amount of tax will result in better health
Courier Mail, Brisbane  by Mike O'Connor
14 Dec 2018
General News - Page 34 - 1486 words - ID 1051061927 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 499.00cm2

SOMETIMES you need an academic to tell you where you're going wrong. Or we lesser mortals would wander aimlessly through the darkness of our own ignorance vainly seeking enlightenment.

This week, for example, we were treated to the Assessing CostEffectiveness of Obesity Prevention Policies in Australia report prepared by researchers at the University of Queensland and Deakin University.

Releasing the report, co-author and Associate Professor Gary Sacks said: "Alcohol is high in calories with a pint of beer almost on a par with a chocolate bar, so consumption can have a big impact on daily energy intake." Really? Just to get this straight, and I confess that I've never been terribly good at sums, does this mean that the more beer and/or chocolate bars I consume, the fatter I'll get?

Let's presume so. It would, I suppose, be a faint hope that an increase in consumption would lead to a decrease in weight.

No free Mars bars for guessing that the same report decided the best way to tackle obesity was to impose taxes on sweet drinks, ban junk food advertising to children, and increase taxes on a range of alcoholic drinks.

What we need is more government action so all those people who haven't worked out that the more beer you drink and the more chocolate you eat, the bigger you will get, will realise the error of their ways.

Eager to be seen to be doing something, the Queensland Government is looking at setting up a Healthy Futures Commission and Queensland Health is spending $45 million in 2018-19 on preventive health programs. That's $45 million down the toilet where it will be flushed out to sea with all the other millions that have told people to drink less beer, eat less chocolate and exercise.

Full marks to whoever came up with the title of Healthy Futures Commission, which comes with images of a future in which Queenslanders, aglow with their new-found, government-inspired health frolic on grassy fields and sun-kissed beaches.

Then there is the reality in which many people are too self-indulgent to rein in their appetites. They ram pastries and fried foods down their throats because they like the taste.

You would have to be incredibly stupid not to appreciate in this multimedia digital age that consuming sugar and grease is not a good thing.

This means the Government is targeting those who are incredibly stupid or don't care. You can't convince a person to be self-disciplined when they are not interested in doing so.

You can throw money at them and create Healthy Futures programs and commission catchy TV ads that they will watch while sprawled on the couch and slamming down a brace of KitKats.

What if KitKats were to be more expensive, courtesy of a sugar tax?

Would these same people suddenly join a gym and start eating kale sandwiches on wholemeal bread? Of course not. They'll find something less expensive and equally unhealthy. You can't tax people into health.

To suggest that banning advertisements of junk food will prevent kids from eating these products is equally fatuous. Walk through food courts and you will see advertisements urging you to indulge in a hundred artery-clogging delights.

Are the outlets to be painted beige and their offerings hidden behind blinds, the less to tempt children into succumbing to their blandishments?

Such moves also overlook the inconvenient truth that it is parents who buy junk food for their kids. If parents are so weak willed as to give into their child's demands for a burger with fries less they throw a tantrum, then what chance has a government program got of changing this? None.

Alcohol puts on weight. Drunk to excess, it can kill you. The reasoning then is if the taxation regimen is changed, people will drink less.

The previous federal Labor government had an inglorious shot at this by boosting the tax on pre-mixed drinks to stop young people getting drunk at nightclub precincts. Instead of drinking pre-packaged, diluted drinks, they now consume their own mixed drinks at home that are invariably stronger than the pre-mixed variety and end up drunker than ever. Brilliant! An inevitable consequence of changing the alcohol tax will be to make it more difficult for those on lower incomes to afford bulk alcohol such as casks. The wealthy can keep slurping their Bin 707 but the poor will, in theory, be forced to drinkA. P. GREENFIELD a9 less.

BRISBANE J GEORGE ST. (opp. Treasury Bldg.), Something siUm.Si.larWwAaNsTtSriedCinHItNhAe D V.S.

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'During the course great deal of water Nanking intends to over-produce tex he formal consultative body o tribunal,' he said, the 'I have for the defence of arc been spending up tiles, and a good many organisation.] Enjoy that Christmas dinner andrate of his income had many causes to regret and the gateway to the whole planning to buy one and the my sense of humour.' of South China. same supply of raw materials Belcher agreed that he had The Chinese Nationalist 'The crucial difficulty is to the full irmies have been so severely every country wants tc of 2000 nauled the absolute minimum No honey,sterling that show that they now import and a year. He denied that ittle stomach for fighting. the mum export the absolute maxi himself Meanwhile, in the north, looks until the whole thing he was insuring against and added: Nationalist Genetal Fu Tso losing his position, touting up over the round pass the pork crackling. eclipseInbhavmweilseooarnuydgalednboaactMrhndahe.d,rPea.fv,uellnoyIf,efecareenbwddseoseunaldrWyaomnlefqsduoi,cinntoeqanusiriidesehser.haactavampinepgoynit,Ii like tripping no money'I wouldn't corri go maintains a precarious |' - to Peiping simple economic proposition for a directorship.' dor from Tientsin Belcher added: 'I have no andKulgan, but it is narrowing 'You cannot sell to the UIGIIT slorcnicn sought if I ceased to doubt at all that East. people who will not buy, ' danger money when you, He is still receiving military and if you cannot sell, of bees swarmed thousands aid direct from America, al yourself, will be unable to being afford to buy.' though there appears to be on hngs of raw sugar little chance of his survival. the British and unloaded at u Hamilton ? de Instancing which he wharf yesterday.

as French plans, together The men ran for safety scribe as fitting foot in when the bees settled o explains to take it.' It 'THE Chinese Government iwkwardly as the right bags being unloaded from being as the ;he left boot. Clifford Sir Hartley Shawcross: is; continues in rail trucks at the McArthur not your is opening gambit, :hat France has worked out a but few Cabi and Agency Co 'Look here, you fronts collapse, attend great many Shipping met to say, If there their of ?cheme to sell a but Britain net Ministers :hings Pty., Ltd.. wharf.

it, a business man. to Britain, for buy ars fices in Nanking. The claim not was is something you want at any las made no provision Chiang Kai-shek sees only but a working adjustment time from my department old friends who can be mike@parkinpr.com.auBelcher: the normal ing them. was made.

through .

but get don't go direct. in touch trusted not to contradict BUTTER - OR GUNS The men's union dele channels him. He no longer controls I may be and the failure the war gate (Mr. J. Kelly) said with me Chiang's mission t the situation, '?RRITAIN before consultation able to help you.' of Madame that after bought from Europe more It is quite fantastic, to America has probably she sold to Europe,' Clif matter 'inns 'satisfactorily and only a madman would the fate of his long than when she adjusted' and the offend than she talk like that with somebody sealed in China. ford continues. 'Now ing truck shifted.

to sell more met before. dominance plans he has never under the of spokesma Life continues buys, how is a shortage A company as before. sterling to be avoided?

communists much said that after the company 'Is Britain moved the truck the m After they have taken their ob to stop trading the Gov in order withdrew their claim.

jectives they disarm with the Dominions People are largely the masters of their own health outcomes

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