Britain Wants Levies on Fast Food Industry

Britain is considering imposing levies on fast food firms to fund sports facilities and combat obesity. Governments and food firms have been criticized for failing to combat obesity in Britain and the United States, where as many as two-thirds of the population are considered overweight. In Britain, 47 percent of men and 33 percent of women are overweight and nearly a quarter of both sexes are obese. If the levies were imposed, funds would be used to build sports facilities around the country, a government spokesman said, adding: "It remains the case that improving the nation's health and tackling obesity are key government objectives." It appears that Britain is doing a good job in recognizing the importance of taking anti-obesity measures. Last year they also released a report supporting the nationwide promotion of healthy foods and a potential "fat tax" on junk food advertising. Activists in the United States are also trying to hold the food industry to account for the population's expanding waistline. Consumer lobby groups argue that shrewd and costly marketing have influenced U.S. eating habits and contributed to a rising rate of obesity.

Yahoo! News June 6, 2004

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