The Exercise Association of New Zealand has called on cereals and other processed foods to be taxed, as the country looks for ways to reduce spiralling obesity levels.
According to the organisation’s Chief Executive, Richard Beddie, a tax on foods classified as being ‘highly processed’ would allow physical activity and fresh food to be subsidised.
Beddie’s proposal comes after a recent report ranked New Zealand as the third fattest OECD country on the planet, with obesity rates rising by 4.2% over the past decade. The latest figures showed that New Zealand is now less than 2% behind Mexico in second position, highlighting an urgent need for change.
Speaking about the targets for the plan Beddie said: “The worst foods are those that pretend to be good for you but aren't, such as many processed bars, breakfast cereals, even ultra-processed breads with a few grains thrown in that claim to be natural.”
Around the world the idea of a ‘Sugar Tax’ is controversial, with opponents claiming that it will impact the less well off in society far more than any other group. As a result a tax on processed food is likely to generate even more discussion - especially around the definition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ types of processed produce.
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