Vice Squad
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Redfining Success Downwards on British Childhood Obesity

"By 2020, we aim to reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children to 2000 levels." That's the British public health minister, as quoted in the Guardian. The earlier goal was to eliminate child obesity by 2010, so this is a rather severe adjustment. The issue is in the news because of the release of a report based on a two-year study. Among the policy proposals -- see the list on the sidebar of this Financial Times article -- is a tax calibrated to the fat content of food. I don't have a principled objection to such fat taxes, but I am pretty skeptical about their ability to function well in practice.

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