Local authorities have proposed plans to address the increasing levels of obesity which is prevalent in the UK.
Takeaway restaurants across Britain could be stung with a £1,000 ‘fat tax’ which would be spent on enforcing programmes which promote healthy eating among children.
The scheme is set to be launched in Oldham, where levels of obesity among children are higher than the national average, with one in four children living in the town suffering from obesity.
Kebab houses, fish and chip sandwiches and burger bars will be forced to pay the levy before opening publicly, along with High Street fast food giants like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King and Dominos.
The decision has come following the shocking figures in the growth in obesity throughout the UK, with health bosses saying that the rise in fast food restaurants is partly to blame for poor eating habits among children.
Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum said “as the Government is doing very little so it may down to local authorities to take action and we would welcome a ‘fat tax’ on fast food joints – if they are going to cause the problem then they should certainly contribute to the solution.”
It has been proved that on average obesity reduces life expectancy by nine years, and is deemed as a catalyst to many life threatening illnesses.
Further measures have been made by other councils in Britain, including measures to ban takeaways opening within 400 metres of schools along with limiting the concentration of takeaways in town centres and shopping parades.
But the proposal has been condemned by many; business leaders said the levy would stifle economic growth and force restaurants to close, while takeaway owners fear for the future of their business.
One takeaway owner said “If the council charges £1,000 for each business then scores of people are going to go under.
“Maybe really fatty food shouldn’t be sold to primary age children but people should still be able to have a choice over what food they want to eat.”
If the plans are approved by the Government, then the ‘fat tax’ could be introduced as early as next year.
Is this an appropriate response to the problem of obesity in the UK?