ObesityAmong Children: A Global Health Issue
“Sugartax?” Not an effective startegy to tackle obesity in children
Thecurrent lifestyle for so many children in the today`s society andtheir feeding habits are the primary cause of obesity. Children areliving a very inactive life in terms of physical activitiesaccompanied by bad eating habits. An article published in theGuardian on 5thOctober this year caught my attention. The article talked about thelaunch of voluntary “sugar tax” by Brighton as a strategy toaddress the issue of obesity among children. According to thearticle, the introduction of an additional levy on sugary drinks willdiscourage people from buying them. From the vast studies that I havereviewed on obesity, I firmly believe the introduction of sugar taxwill not make any impact in addressing obesity among children.
Accordingto Richard apart from sugary drinks, there are many types of fastfoods that have contributed to the health calamity (2015). Childrencannot resist from enticing foods such as chips, beef burgers, hotdogs to name but a few. Therefore, it would require governments toimpose fast food owners to pay more, to make sugar tax a validstrategy in tackling obesity. Children are funded by their parents toindulge in bad eating habits. According to Flodmark,Marcus and Britton (2006), interventions to address obesity amongchildren should mainly target the parents or guardians. Parentingskills have a significant influence on children eating habits. Beforethe introduction of sugar tax, it would be advisable to educateparents about the risks associated with bad feeding habits and aninactive lifestyle.
Iconcur with Brighton’s argument that consumption of excess sugar isa primary cause of obesity. However, instead of introducing sugartax, Brighton should have thought ob more efficient strategies suchas replacement of sugary drinks with healthier and less sugarydrinks. According to Mersch(2014), Childhood obesity is a condition that is attributed to poorparenting skills. Parents have the responsibility to ensure theirchildren feed on a balanced and healthy diet.
Theintroduction of additional levy on sugary drinks can be an efficientstrategy when combined with other strategies such as physicalexercise for children. Instead of organizing parties for childrenwhere they consume a lot of sugar, big companies such as Brighton canorganize fun events that will get children to do some physicalexercise. According to Flodmark,Marcus and Britton physical exercise is an effective strategy forreducing weight and preventing obesity among children (2006).Companies such as McDonald give back to the community through charityevents that will encourage children to lead active lifestyles.
Sugartax can become an effective strategy after parents have changed theirlifestyles to act as good roles models for their children. Manyparents have bad eating habits and pass these habits to theirchildren. Therefore, whether the price for sugary drinks goes high ornot, such type of parents will not hesitate to buy the products fortheir kids. A combination of strategies is needed to tackle thedisturbing issue of obesity(Mersch, 2014).For instance, the introduction of "sugar tax" can becombined with awareness creation among parents and physicalactivities to effectively tackle obesity in children. Parents shouldaim to create a home environment that supports healthful behaviorsamong their kids, from feeding habits to physical fitness. Whenchildren are brought up in such a manner that they embrace healthydiets and active lifestyles, there would be no need for "sugartax".
Flodmark,C. E., Marcus, C., & Britton, M. (2006). Interventions to preventobesity in children and adolescents: a systematic literaturereview. Internationaljournal of obesity, 30(4),579-589.
Mersch,J. (2014). ChildhoodObesity.Retrieved from: http://www.medicinenet.com/childhood_obesity/article.htm
RichardC.G. (2015).Childhood Obesity – Causes and Considerations.Obesity Action Coalition. Retrieved from:http://www.obesityaction.org/educational-resources/resource-articles- 2/childhood-obesity-resource-articles/childhood-obesity-causes-and-consideration
TheGuardian (Oct 5, 2015).Brighton launches voluntary ‘sugar tax’ in effort to tackleobesity. Available at:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/05/brighton- launches- voluntary-sugar-tax-in-effort-to-tackle-obesity