One sees these Health Department full-page ads running in newspapers down here in Australia that don't seem to be doing a damn bit of good.
They will say things like:
BEHIND A GRABBABLE GUT IS A CANCER-CAUSING TOXIC FAT
Showing a picture above of a pair of hands on either side of, grabbing an overweight midriff; and a picture below this of a great mass of slimy, repulsive looking fat and veins viewed via a camera inserted inside someone's stomach.
And at the bottom of this is some spiel about how the "dangerous levels of chemicals released by toxic fat" increases your risk to ten major cancers, heart disease, stroke, etc.
Why do I say they're not working.
Well, if they were working, Australia wouldn't have any overweight billionaires—would we? (nearly all our billionaires look like the rear end of a rhinoceros).
Let's face it, if you're a billionaire you have the most to lose by not heeding the message of these ads. When you're a billionaire and you die younger than you normally would have had you maintained a trim, taut and terrific physique, this leaves you less time on the planet to spend all your bundles of money.
And if these ads are not at least convincing Australia's billionaires to lose a few pounds, then what use are they? The only individuals who appear to be benefiting from the millions of dollars the taxpayers are forking out for the running of such ads is one or two newspaper tycoons.
So what is the solution?
Have a fat tax for billionaires. Every billionaire that is overweight will need to pay an extra amount of tax for every kilogram that they are overweight.
And why would they be keen to pay this extra tax?
Because you would actually be doing them a favour. You would be encouraging them to live longer so that they will be around for more years to spend their money.
And as they get leaner and leaner, average Australians will see them as models of good health and seek to imitate their example of 'good living and plenty of exercise' to keep the body fit.
Fat around our belly
Here is the original study in The Lancet. It's not exactly an easy/user-friendly read, so I wouldn't bother with it unless you're a scholarly professor with an honors degree in waffle interpretation. Here is a more cut-to-the-chase-without-the-gobbledygook explanation aimed at the general public:
"Commenting on the findings, Peter Campbell from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta highlighted the need for policy changes to curb excess weight and obesity, a growing global problem. These could include taxes on foods like sugar-sweetened drinks that are high in calories but low in nutrition, subsidies for healthier alternatives, and urban planning that encourages walking and other forms of exercise."
If you want to know more, Google: 'Body-mass index and risk of cancer'.
In a nutshell, what this stuff is saying is that we need to shed the excess fat around our belly until we have the 'body of our dreams'. Because this way we will have a greater chance of a longer, healthier, more fun-filled and wonderful life.
The ball is in our court.
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Government says NO to lean billionaires
Australia's morbidly obese billionaires received some dire news today when a fit and healthy Prime Minister Abbott rode off on his pushbike, just after issuing instructions to Tim Crosier of the Health and Education Branch, that he was to--under no circumstances--accept money from obese billionaires to encourage them to shed weight. Mr Abbott has chosen to continue doing that which has been proven in the past not to work: educate billionaires to lose their own lard. What this shows is that our Prime Minister clearly does not care about the top end of town. Those wealthy individuals who are unable to say no to multiple helpings of cream buns, cheesecakes, chocolate biscuits, ice cream sundaes and donuts at desert time.
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Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Dear Mr Gosney
Thank you for your email to the Prime Minister regarding the LiveLighter campaign and your idea for a new tax. I have been asked to reply on the Prime Minister’s behalf.
LiveLighter is a public health education programme created by the Western Australian Department of Health in partnership with the Heart Foundation WA and the Cancer Council of WA. You may wish to provide your feedback on LiveLighter directly to the programme administrators. You can do this by visiting http://livelighter.com.au/Contact.
I note your suggestion for a new 'fat tax’ to encourage healthy behaviours. The Australian Government recognises the burden of disease associated with poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. However, the Government’s preferred approach is to actively educate, support and encourage Australian families to adopt and maintain a healthy diet rather than introduce legislation and new taxes.
The Government is implementing a range of healthy eating and nutrition activities that promote healthy lifestyles and good nutrition in Australia.
For example, the Government maintains the Australian Dietary Guidelines as part of the Eat for Health programme. These guidelines provide evidence based recommendations for all Australians on how best to enjoy a healthy balanced diet from a variety of foods. The guidelines, and accompanying resources, can be found at www.eatforhealth.gov.au.
In addition, the Government is also developing a Healthy Weight Guide website that will provide information on how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The Guide will include information about healthy weight, physical activity and healthy eating; tips and tools to assist with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight; and a registered area where users can record and track their weight and progress. You may wish to visit www.healthyweight.health.gov.au and register to be advised when the website goes 'live’ in the coming months.
Image Credit: Microsoft