World Health Organization is in favour of a sugar tax

The food industry's voluntary efforts alone will not solve child obesity according to the World Health Organization. Taxation and marketing restrictions are required to achieve that goal, it feels.

Too much energy, not enough nutrients

In its newest report, "Ending Child Obesity", which was published last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) urges the food industry to create healthier food and drinks. It feels children nowadays are raised in an environment promoting obesity as they are constantly bombarded with cheap and easily available industrial food items that contain too much energy and not enough nutrients.

 

Although the report recognizes the food industry is voluntarily making an effort, it also mentions governments should intervene, with taxation and marketing restrictions for example. Adding food value and warning labels on the packaging will not suffice to change consumer behavior. However, a standardized food label system could help educate people about food if all packaged food and drinks were required to use the system.

 

Protect children against the power of marketing

 

The organization feels there are plenty of reasons to implement an actual sugar tax. However, not only sodas should face the brunt of fiscal change as other unhealthy food items, rich in fat and sugar, could also be targeted.  

 

The report also emphasized the importance of food education. Schools should prohibit the sale of unhealthy items while every attempt to halt child obesity is doomed to fail if children are not protected against the power of marketing. 

 

Despite all this, the World Health Organization is not in favour of unilaterally imposed measures but seeks a constructive collaboration between governments and the private sector. All member states will discuss the report in May. To be continued... 

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


27/05/2016

German discounter Aldi opened a pop-up store in London's trendy Shoreditch quarter. It is the very first time Aldi opens a store, entirely dedicated to its product range of wine.

26/05/2016

American supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, specialized in biologic and natural food, has just opened its first 365 store, a smaller and cheaper store formula it had long since announced.

26/05/2016

Several major fishing companies, including Birds Eye, alongside fast food chain McDonald's and British supermarket chain Tesco have signed a deal to protect fish in the North Pole area.

25/05/2016

Local FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brands are growing faster than their multinational competitors. Coca-Cola is still the most popular brand in the world, but Colgate is the only one with a worldwide market penetration exceeding 50 %.

25/05/2016

Artificial intelligence is entering the fast food world. KFC recently opened a concept store with a robot taking orders, while Pizza Hut is collaborating with Pepper, the "human robot".

25/05/2016

Over to the next 5 to 7 years, supermarket chain Lidl will invest about 500 million euro into the Belgian market, which should lead to 50 new stores and about 2,000 new jobs.

25/05/2016

The European Commission has approved the intended merger between beer brewers AB InBev and SABMiller, a major step in the right direction for both companies. However, several other markets still have to approve the deal.

24/05/2016

Sushi specialist Sushi Daily will open another kiosk on 27 May, in Koksijde's Carrefour Hypermarket. Only on 17 May, the European market leader Sushi Daily opened its 500th kiosk in Turin, Italy.

24/05/2016

Food manufacturer Mondelez International will collaborate with several partners in the fight against child labour with cocoa manufacturers. One of its moves was to call on Embode, a human rights advice firm, to investigate.

24/05/2016

During the first quarter of 2016, European FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) experienced their slowest price growth in 6 years' time according to Nielsen's report.

20/05/2016

European food retailers are facing three radical changes: hypermarkets are under a lot of pressure, discounters are surging and eCommerce's growth is speeding up. Name brands have to act quickly to guarantee their future existence, according to a Bain & Company report.

20/05/2016

Tesco's UK customers can add products to their shopping list automatically from now on, like when its drops in price or when the temperature increases. A visionary move or only a nerd fantasy?

Back to top