Food companies that churn out foods with a high-fat content should be “heavily taxed”, said TV’s Dr Christian Jessen.
In an exclusive interview with NiP, the Supersize Vs Superskinny presenter criticised the government for not getting to grips with the obesity crisis – something he fears will bring the NHS “to its knees” within a decade.
Dr Jessen said the government’s ‘nudging’ obesity campaign should be replaced with a “short, sharp elbow to the ribs” as he claimed people do not have the willpower required to resist the temptations of junk food.
“The conclusions are frighteningly simple. We are eating too much,” he said.
“We need to completely change the types of food that are available to buy in shops. Our willpower alone is not enough to say no to junk food.
“The government’s campaign is not working. It needs to look heavily taxing the big food companies that churn out the massively high-calorific, high-fat foods.”
Dr Jessen said it wouldn’t be “fair” to penalise consumers for buying foods that are high in calories because they are too “available”.
In a statement to NiP, a Department of Health spokesperson said it is possible to "halt and reverse the tide of obesity" if those who are overweight "take simple steps" to reduce their calorie intake.
They also said international evidence on 'fat taxes' are currently "under review".
By Louise Naughton
Question: Do you agree that junk food manufacturers should be 'heavily taxed'?