04 September 2009

When will adults be given full time parents?

This sort of scheme is absurd. "A smart card that subsidises healthy foods has been recommended by obesity researchers. The system was proposed in research commissioned by the Ministry of Health, the New Zealand Herald reported."

We have the nonsense that people who are overweight, are actually poor. The opposite of the developing world. The latest excuse is that "it's cheaper to eat badly". This, of course, is nonsense.

Here are some ideas:
- Pasta (without cheese);
- Soup, with bread;
- Canned vegetables;
- Water, the universal drink - or even tea and coffee.

The attitude that people are overweight because of money is the attitude that there are adults incapable of looking after themselves, that they should be wards of the state, that nanny looks after them, feeds them, spends their money and ensures they are healthy. It is at best patronising, at worst a damnation of decades of welfarism that has produced people who are no better than children, because the state houses them, gives them money to spend and expects little in return. Of course once obese, people have the delight of the state picking up the tab for health care, because it sends no price signals over the years about how much extra it will cost.

I love this at the end though "Pensioners should be excluded because they had not been found to experience food insecurity, he said."

Oh hold on, so pensioners don't have this problem because presumably they aren't so stupid as to buy unhealthy food, or they aren't so lazy to not think a little bit about their shopping?

It's time to give up on this nanny approach, start thinking about health care as a personal responsibility and move towards people paying towards their health costs. I don't support removing GST on food, as GST should simply be abolished altogether. Removing GST on food makes food relatively cheaper than other "entertainment". However, it wont make any difference to obesity.

One thing might though. Getting rid of subsidies for bus services would encourage more people to walk and cycle.


sagenz said...

not quite true. The cost of fried potatoes is miniscule even vs pasta because it contains so much fat.

Jamie Oliver came up with some stats a while ago on the cost per calorie of various UK foods.

Its not a kneejerk

Sus said...

"Experience 'food insecurity'"??

Oh, FFS.

Oh, and Sage? Maybe they shouldn't fry them then! Jeez. It ain't tricky.