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Government tackling obesity missing a key element

(771 Posts)
HeeeeyDuggee Mon 27-Jul-20 09:32:38

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53546151

Government have announced measures to tackle obesity

AIBU to think that although it’s all well and good banning buy 1 get 1 free and advertising before 21:00 what they really need to do is make fresh fruit and vegetables and good quality meat cheaper for people to buy.

It may be a regional thing but buying enough veg for the week here costs a fortune and it goes off within days. Where as you can buy a massive packet nuggets and chips for much less.

Pre covid it was bad enough for lots of families but given the ramifications on jobs and the economy I think lots more families will struggle to afford decent healthy food.

Ps not a fat persons bashing thread I myself am over weight

OP’s posts: |
SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 27-Jul-20 09:34:45

You can't make veg any cheaper. Slave labour is already used to keep costs down🤷🏻
If you can't afford all fresh, frozen and tinned veg is equally as good.

HesterShaw1 Mon 27-Jul-20 09:34:46

Fine idea in principle, but farmers receive little enough for fresh produce anyway.

Unless a tax on junk food can be used as some kind of fresh veg subsidy somehow.

Bitchinkitchen Mon 27-Jul-20 09:36:09

Where are you? Good quality meat will always be expensive as it is much more expensive to farm sensitively and responsibly than to factory farm, but we should all be eating less meat anyway. Everywhere i have ever lived, you can go to Lidl and get veg for literally pennies. You can't bulk buy for a fortnight, but that's the nature of produce. Eating better requires more thought and planning than eating badly, but not necessarily more money.

Redlocks28 Mon 27-Jul-20 09:36:39

Yes, I agree-somehow subsidising fresh fruit and veg would be far more effective. They don’t want to do anything that costs them any money though.

MatildaTheCat Mon 27-Jul-20 09:37:15

YANBU.

Caitlin Moran wrote a piece in The Times on Saturday and summed it up by saying if you want to find slim healthy people look for an area with a Waitrose and a boating lake.

To alter the eating habits of millions of people is going to be massively difficult and would have to include ensuring that healthy foods are affordable and that people have the knowledge and skills to cook with them.

It’s a great aim but cutting the BOGOFs out is a pretty small factor.

OttilieKnackered Mon 27-Jul-20 09:37:27

Fruit and vegetables really aren’t that expensive if you buy in season. If you want to keep a large family in blueberries and mangoes year-round then that will cost.

Meat also isn’t all that expensive if you buy cheaper cuts.

And grains and pulses are generally pennies.

MinorArcana Mon 27-Jul-20 09:38:05

I like the idea, but I don’t think it’s practical unless the government back it up with some sort of subsidy.

FightMilkTM Mon 27-Jul-20 09:38:33

That’s a good point actually in that by putting a stop to deals etc all that will really happen is everyone’s food shop goes up.
Not sure that the government should necessarily subsidise healthy food (not that that is what you’re suggesting) as ‘healthy’ should ideally be everything in moderation.
I really don’t agree with essentially upping the cost of ‘unhealthy’ food though (I.e sugar tax) particularly without a massive push on education as it just turns into yet another ‘poor tax’. Funny that hmm

SecretSpAD Mon 27-Jul-20 09:39:12

You are entirely correct. There does seem to be a view that overweight people are guzzling (and it's always guzzling, not eating) pies, cakes and tons of junk food.

The sad truth for a lot of overweight families is that they are on low incomes and can't afford "good" food so go for the chips/chicken nuggets option because that fills them up, the kids like it and is cheap.

There have been many governments over several years who claim to be tackling obesity - but they fail each time, as this one will, because they ignore the fundamentals and that is affordable fruit and veg, good meat and good fish.

itsaratrap Mon 27-Jul-20 09:39:25

Fruit and vegetables are very cheap in the UK, compared with many other European countries.

contrmary Mon 27-Jul-20 09:39:52

YANBU. Make healthy food cheaper and more convenient than unhealthy food, but still taste as good, and people will switch.

Personally I think the best way to get people to lose weight is to pay them to. Say £100 per lb lost, for every lb you lose down to a healthy level, so long as you keep it off for a year. It would be much more cost effective in the long run.

Sunnysidegold Mon 27-Jul-20 09:40:49

I think we sometimes need to examine what fruit and veg we are buying. I was spending a fortune on fruit for my children and moaned about it when my husband pointed out that I was buying punnets of raspberries at three quid a pop. When we were little it was apples, bananas, oranges etc. So maybe if we start trying to buy things more seasonally, or be a bit more thoughtful about the fruit and veg we buy things might be easier budget wise.

Agree with above about frozen and to. We alternatives. We eat a lot moreof frozen veg here and the varieties you can get now are much wider.

I think it will be a huge task for the government to try and do something about this.

LaLaLandIsNoFun Mon 27-Jul-20 09:42:11

Access to decent exercise is also an issue I’ve found. When I lived in the states nearly all gyms including the cheaper ones had childcare. Living here in the UK I’ve been unable to exercise regularly or decently since no childcare - which will disproportionately affect women (men, for some odd reason, don’t seem to have the same issues being able to go out cycling, or golfing, or cricket, or the gym etc - I wonder why that is?)

Hangingover Mon 27-Jul-20 09:42:23

Eating better requires more thought and planning than eating badly, but not necessarily more money

Yah I agree with this. I'm vegan and if you cook from scratch and in bulk it's cheap as anything. Canned and frozen stuff is brilliant for saving money. The huge bags in Iceland are terrific.

SecretSpAD Mon 27-Jul-20 09:42:36

Meat also isn’t all that expensive if you buy cheaper cuts.

Those cheaper cuts need long, slow cooking. That isn't possible when you've got an electric meter and only £5 on it to last the week.

Also, as mentioned above, many people have not learned the skills of how to cook.

Hangingover Mon 27-Jul-20 09:44:01

Access to decent exercise is also an issue I’ve found

I'm not near a gym either but if you want some free workouts Fitness Blender on YouTube is AMAZING. There's like 500 different ones and they're all free - I love them.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Mon 27-Jul-20 09:44:52

A healthy diet doesn’t need to be expensive, it just takes more effort.

Seasonal fruit/veg is very cheap, there’s also frozen and tinned. As are pulses etc.

Exercise is also free and makes a big difference too.

We don’t need the government to subsidise it or give people more money, we should be spending taxes on others things not paying people more money than we do already in many instances.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Mon 27-Jul-20 09:47:11

There's a certain "start up cost" to cooking from scratch. It's easy to have a store cupboard of dried herbs and spices, even things like oil, salt, garlic when you aren't living pound to pound.

I can throw a Lasagne for 4 together for a pittance as I have a stock of lasagne sheets, tinned Tom's, herbs and have the knowledge (and confidence) to make the white sauce and the ragu. So the cost to me is a packet of mince and maybe some cheddar if I've run out.

But if someone doesn't have that stock, then buying all the bits costs more than 4x £1 ready lasagne from Iceland.

Newdaynewname1 Mon 27-Jul-20 09:48:31

You need to do both. however, fruit and veg in the uk are cheap as long as you buy in season, and buy wonky veg etc.
Studies have shown that just making healthy food cheap doesn’t do anything, as people tend to spend the money saved on more junk food.
Junkfood needs to go up a lot (including stuff like white bread), but healthy food needs to be accessible and affordable.

dontdisturbmenow Mon 27-Jul-20 09:48:49

Considering the main reason people are obese is portion size, by cutting down on portion, they should cut down on costs meaning more can be spent on healthy version.

My food budget as reduced by 1/3rd since my family has been on a diet.

But it will inevitably be used as an excuse for people don't justify why they can't lose weight.

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 27-Jul-20 09:50:33

Access to decent exercise is also an issue I’ve found.
Where there is a will...

Those cheaper cuts need long, slow cooking. That isn't possible when you've got an electric meter and only £5 on it to last the week.
Slowcooker. Or, buy frozen cheaper meat which doesn't need slowcooking for that weeks. You can buy nearly a kilo of pork chops for 2.50 in tesco.

Also, as mentioned above, many people have not learned the skills of how to cook.
There has never before been easier 24/7 access to that information. Ever.

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 27-Jul-20 09:51:51

dontdisturbmenow

Considering the main reason people are obese is portion size, by cutting down on portion, they should cut down on costs meaning more can be spent on healthy version.

My food budget as reduced by 1/3rd since my family has been on a diet.

But it will inevitably be used as an excuse for people don't justify why they can't lose weight.

I agree with you. We are actually saving too since I started watching itblush

LoeliaPonsonby Mon 27-Jul-20 09:52:00

Treat fast food shops like pubs, so no entry to minors unless with an adult. Chicken shops around schools in London are heaving at lunchtime.
Make cities, towns and villages accessible by active transport.

Mooserp Mon 27-Jul-20 09:53:11

People can (and do) have very unhealthy diets and not be overweight, which is really another issue. It is the quantity of food that is causing obesity. And encouraging people to eat out is maybe not the best tactic hmm

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