A little while ago, I made the mistake of debating a talk-radio host about the Ontario Medical Association’s proposals to help combat obesity up here in Canada.
The OMA suggests:
- Increasing taxes on junk food and decreasing tax on healthy foods;
- Restricting marketing of fatty and sugary foods to children;
- Placement of graphic warning labels on pop and other high calorie foods with little to no nutritional value;
- Retail displays of high-sugar, high-fat foods to have information prominently placed advising consumer of the health risks; and
- Restricting the availability of sugary, low-nutritional value foods in sports and other recreational facilities that are frequented by young people.
Of course, the suggestion of a fat tax caused on-air conservatives to completely freak out.
During our debate over the tax implications of obesity (healthcare costs vs “fat taxes”), Mr. DJ let me know that:
- “in moderation” there are no bad foods…
- and that since we need food to eat, taxing any foods is ethically wrong.
Aside from the fact that we have already jumped the ethical hurdle by taxing snack & restaurant foods, I let him know about a new study which showed that within 2 hours of eating a breakfast consisting of two commercially available breakfast McSandwiches -(900 calories and 50 g of fat) – test subjects saw a reduction of arterial blood flow by 15-20%.
Let me repeat: It slowed down the flow of their blood.
And while this doesn’t mean that your blood is going to stop flowing after eating a bag of McMuffins…it does indicate that eating junk food has an immediate & negative effect on your health.
- And that if you eat like this on a regular basis, you are harming yourself.
Even if a radio DJ disagrees.
Mr. DJ went on to argue that eating junk food provides calories and since we will die without calories, we would all die. Ergo junk food is good for us.
I hung up the phone.