Tim Walker’s Sweet II

New Zealand health advocates have made clear their desire to follow the UK’s lead and impose a tax on high-sugar food and drink.

Personally, there is no more logical step the NZ Government could take: if 80% of the cost of cigarettes is currently taxation to cover the cost of the myriad diseases smoking causes, also alcohol tax to cover the sclerosis boozing causes, oh and, of course an exorbitant fuel tax to cover the ACC payouts that motoring causes, then surely somebody needs to be accumulating some sort of nest egg for twenty years down the track when half of every Kiwi suffers diabetes caused by excess sugar consumption…

The National Health Board is against the aforementioned levy, claiming ‘You increase the price of their sugary drinks, low income families are going to have to find an alternative…’

…A fine alternative to sweetened beverages is of course, water. Here in New Zealand we are lucky enough to have an abundant supply of fresh water; furthermore unlike some other countries where drinking water must be purchased in convenient plastic bottles, New Zealanders don’t need to pay for refreshment…

One silly woman claimed, “You can’t put up the price of our soft drink – it’s a bit of a treat for the kids when they’re good and it’s harmless enough.”

…Can anybody say ADHD? What about childhood obesity..? What about my very own nephews who, while not typically troublesome to get into bed at night, when slipped a late afternoon can of Coke by an awesome uncle, become abuzz with excitement and so much fun to be around – until half an hour past bedtime once the uncle’s gone home and the sugar-high’s worn off, the good-humour dissipates then along comes several hours of tantrum.

Sugar is currently accepted as a food to be avoided; in fact like cigarettes before it, courtesy of so much disdainful opinion, in this modern era sugar has been outright vilified.

Why then, unlike cigarettes before it, is it still being marketed and sold to our youth with such gusto?



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Mark Atting

Photography by Dar Bill Stan-Deared

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