Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver thinks the government ought to tax sugar the same way it taxes tobacco. Oliver is referring to the British government, but he follows in the similar footsteps of America’s flagship nanny stater Michael Bloomberg and his quest to ban large-sized sugar sodas in New York.
Oliver said that sugar was “definitely the next evil” and consumers should be punished because consumption places a burden on the NHS, Britain’s socialized medical system.
Below, Jamie Oliver displays his chocolate panettone bread and butter pudding from his “Jamie’s Comfort Food” book.
If the government wasn’t involved in health care administration and delivery, the burden of bad nutritional choices would fall on the individual making the bad choices. I think we’ve all forgotten that basic truism, as the public has become more accepting of using government force to slam their preferred behaviors down the throats of their fellow citizens.
France has already imposed a tax on sugar drinks and Oliver would like to see that in Britain. The anti-sugar sentiment comes following “warnings from health campaign groups that sugary diets are one of the main factors in increasing levels of obesity and type-2 diabetes.”
Oliver told the Daily Mail: “Sugar’s definitely the next evil. It’s the next tobacco, without doubt, and that industry should be scared. And it should be taxed, just like tobacco and anything else that can, frankly, destroy lives.”
He also said: “I’m not passionate about taxing, but when you look at the pot of cash that isn’t getting any bigger, and if you think that 68 per cent of every case that goes through the NHS is diet-related, then yes, you need radical change.”
Oliver went on to tell the Daily Mail how he recently had to make his own lifestyle changes: “It’s not as if I felt bad at the time. Or I didn’t think I felt bad, but with hindsight I didn’t look great. I didn’t feel … alive. I was functioning, don’t get me wrong, but looking back there was this feeling that I had to rev up to do it. I was exhausted all the time – and no wonder. When I wasn’t at work I could fall asleep at a minute’s notice – not that I got the chance with the kids. At the weekend they want to play.”
What escapes Oliver is that he chose to make his own healthier lifestyle adjustments without being forced to do so by government penalties. It’s unfortunate he doesn’t want to extend that courtesy to his follow Brits.