A Scottish GP’s ‘interesting’ suggestion that chocolate should be subject to health tax and treated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco was thankfully given the treatment it deserved by his fellow docs this week.
They strongly rejected his proposal at the Scottish Local Medical Committees conference, but not before the story was given widespread coverage in the national media.
The proposal is unlikely to amount to anything more than a thought-provoking idea, but nonetheless, this kind of gimmicky suggestion is unhelpful and actually diminishes the crucial debate on obesity that still needs to be had.
Reducing it to healthy and unhealthy foods ignores the message of a balanced diet and regular exercise.
As well as being a GP, Dr David Walker, the brains behind this idea, is also a trained food scientist and nutritionist. As such he should really know better.
In making this suggestion, he has also failed to acknowledge the contribution the food industry has already made to the debate in terms of education and reformulation.
There are plenty in the industry, I’m sure, hoping he doesn’t land himself a job with the FSA.