Pete Griggs


I was chatting to one of my personal training clients today about how we are getting fatter as a nation, and how this is a ticking time bomb for the NHS.

The fatter you are the more health problems you are likely to develop in life, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, the list is long! A lot of my personal training clients have started off obese and I have seen these problems first hand, trust me they are not pleasant!

All these conditions require medication and/or operations, both of which require money. The good old NHS only has a limited pot of cash, I could easily see in the distant future the obesity crisis bankrupting the NHS.

The Government seem to only be nibbling round the edges of this obesity issue, trying to kick it into the long grass for someone else to sort out, an approach that will proof catastrophic in the long run.

A while ago the idea of a junk food tax was being batted around but seem to lose momentum. I personally think this idea should be seriously considered. One of the purposes of tax is to change peoples behaviour, adding it to certain things to discourage certain behaviour, alcohol duty, and removing it from others to encourage certain behaviours, solar panels.

What foods to apply a tax to is a more tricky subject, this is a bit more of a grey area as nutritional content can vary wildly between one type of food from different brands, some pizzas are more healthy than others. Having said that I think we can agree that foods high in processed sugars and/or fats are a big contributor to obesity, so I propose the following be taxed as a starting point.

Carbonated fizzy drinks (excluding sugar free diet drinks)

I would make that the starting point as I think we will all agree those foods are bad for you.

Like I said to my personal training client the other day we are going to have to pay for the obesity crisis one of two ways, either increases in national insurance or a food tax. I think the food tax is a fairer option all round.

I have another solution that may help with the nations waist line. NHS boot camps cold be run by personal trainers mon-fri morning and evening in parks round the country. I’m not advocating this just because I’m a personal trainer by the way, GPs could refer their overweight patients to these classes to get them into shape. The NHS already has nutritionists, these guys could set up weight watchers style diet classes and run them with the boot camps. Fitness and diet advice together always produces the best results when I come to weight lose.

The sooner we act on these issues the cheaper it is going to be!

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Please Read Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above articles are those of the authors and theirs alone. Information in the articles is not to be taken as medical advice, please consult you doctor before undertaking any type of exercise programme especially if you have any medical conditions.

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