My big fat obesity theory

Last updated 05:00 01/06/2014
PRICE SWAP: If only fresh, nutrititious ingredients were cheap and greasy, fatty foods were out of our price range.

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New Zealand promotes itself as a clean, green country but it seems that when it comes to our eating habits we are far from it. But what is the cause?

Some people will say it is a lack of exercise, which is a contributing factor, but you can't force someone to exercise.

I believe it has to do with the food. We now live in a world where picking up a bucket of fried chicken, deep fried potatoes and reconstituted potatoes with a gluggy "gravy" is cheaper than buying fresh meat and vegetables for your family.

There is also a time factor. Nowadays, most parents work because you have to in order to get by. You get exhausted by working all day, the last thing you want to do is spend another hour or so preparing dinner.

Some say applying a fat tax will help curb the eating habits of the obese, but will it? I doubt it. Not unless you have another incentive.

Fat tax is a good idea in theory. If the taxes were used to subsidise the cost of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables then it would definitely work. At the moment junk food is a lot cheaper than real food. To put it in perspective:

- 1.5 Litre of fizzy drink = $2 on special

- 1 Litre of fresh squeezed orange juice = $5 on special

Fizzy drinks should be a treat, not an everyday staple. By this theory, we can actually make junk food what it was originally meant to be. A once a week treat.

Make a family-sized fried chicken bucket meal $50 instead of $25. Then have the fresh ingredients for a family meal cooked at home for $25.

As for the time management, all it takes is a little planning.

While I'm typing this, my slow cooker is making my wife and I some delicious short ribs. All I have to do is make mashed potatoes when I get home.

I really hope the fat tax does come in, but done right. I would love to be able to say, "nah, no takeaways this week, we can make a healthier version at home".

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