Now they want plain packaging for fizzy drinks

May 31st, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

TVNZ reports:

The statistics have sparked debate on whether for sugary food products should be introduced, like that being argued for tobacco products.

Speaking to TVNZ’s Breakfast, Auckland University marketing expert Dr Mike Lee says plain packaging for sugary drinks could come into play over the next ten years.

The proposal for plain packaging for tobacco products has caused an uproar with concerns it could spill over into fast food and alcohol products, says Mr Lee.

“There is the worry from companies that we are going to become more and more of a ,” he told the programme.

That is the game plan. Anything they disapprove of will be banned, or plain packaged.

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53 Responses to “Now they want plain packaging for fizzy drinks”

  1. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    This is real conspiracy Stephie Boy

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  2. kowtow (8,317 comments) says:

    Of course it will happen!

    National are supporting the attack on tobacco.Why?

    Private property rights are one of the most important ingredients in our successful western capitalist system that has brought us wealth and prosperity.

    Why the attacks on it?

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  3. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    There is the worry from companies that we are going to become more and more of a nanny state

    The word he was looking for was ‘totalitarian’, not ‘nanny.’

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  4. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    I think I’ve figured this plain packaging thing out. See, if we de-brand a large number of products which have any or all of the following attributes ( highly taxed, consumed by many/most/all, highly profitable to produce/sell ) then we make it simple to legislate monopoly state production/provision of these items.

    Leftards can cover their ears and scream la la la not listening when you ask them to list countries following their ideology that have sustainable economies and cohesive societies, but they can never argue their way out of the reality their ideology is based on compulsion, coercion, control and command.

    Freedom is surrendered when you give the state monopoly control of production and provision of goods and services.

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  5. Yoza (1,812 comments) says:

    The label on anything being sold to the public which is going to be eaten or drunk should only contain a list of ingredients. If these products are so fantastic let them sell by word of mouth rather than a sparkly label which has the sole intent of duping potential buyers.
    Why should any government be a captive of the corporate propaganda industry, the government should exist to defend its constituents from the mindless garbage generated by big businesses intent on sucking up as greater share of the economy as they possibly can.
    Meanwhile they leave the tax-payer to deal with the consequences of paying the public health cost that consuming refined sugar products has on society.

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  6. Brian Smaller (4,012 comments) says:

    Yoza – I think you would have loved shopping in a Soviet Russian supermarket. No body is forced to buy soft drinks. No one. Not one person in the entire country. They are purchased as a choice by consumers. Some make that choice too often perhaps, but that is their problem. If you are worried about the cost to the tax payer how about getting fat people to either go to the back of waiting lists for medical services, or pay a surcharge for treatment. Some consequence to their bad choices rather than infringe on the property and purchase rights of all.

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  7. Grant (436 comments) says:

    Hey Yoza, what about country of origin on the label? Isn’t that what you lefties are screaming for as well? Keep up boy.
    And while I’m at it, it must be a sad little world that you inhabit. It must be awful for you watching people do what they will without the need for your condescending guidance.
    Never mind me old mate, the way things are looking, we may just have a socialist government at the about the same time you reach the sixth form.
    G

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  8. Other_Andy (2,610 comments) says:

    “Meanwhile they leave the tax-payer to deal with the consequences of paying the public health cost that consuming refined sugar products has on society.”

    And who were those advocating the no-personal-responsibility-the-taxpayer-will-pay-for-it ideology?

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  9. tom hunter (4,729 comments) says:

    Yoza on the ABC thread

    The Act party and their National party sponsors are closer to anything advocated by the Nazis than Mana or the Internet party.

    That’s always been the trick to being a budding totalitarian in a democracy – just keep proclaiming how your political opponents are the totalitarians.

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  10. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (876 comments) says:

    Wait until a food minister from Greens slap a fat tax and then an environment tax on beef, mutton and fish so that they can subsidise spinach and carrots.

    You deserve this NZ.

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  11. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    Yoza,

    So, censorship for the entire population of the country and a government war on freedom then.

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  12. Other_Andy (2,610 comments) says:

    tom hunter says:

    “That’s always been the trick to being a budding totalitarian in a democracy – just keep proclaiming how your political opponents are the totalitarians.”

    And at the same time ignoring reality.

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  13. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    Sir Cullen’s Sidekick.

    Kale is the new buzz food. Dairy farm to Kale cropping conversions will be subsidised by taxes on meat and dairy.

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  14. prosper (157 comments) says:

    Plain packaging will make no difference to obesity. Why don’t they go all the way and ban sugary drinks and sugary food. That would give them more than their 15 minutes of fame. Arrogant controlling academic socialists.

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  15. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    There is already a very cheap brand of fizzy drinks that has plain packaging. The price is what determines the sale for many. Sure, Coca cola spend a lot on advertising, and attractive packaging does encourage some people, but those that need to be targeted to cut back their consumption of sugary drinks and replace it with healthier alternatives, are the people that are most influenced by price.

    I believe a tax on the % of sugar is what is needed. The funds can be used to offset the huge health costs involved in coping with the problems caused by excessive consumption, and the raised price will make it equal or higher than other healthier choices. I say percentage because many foods have sugar in them, but in such small quantities so the harm is less.

    I accept the argument for freedom of choice etc, and excessive regulation – which would be great, if all in society had the good sense not to over indulge – and the rest of us didn’t have to pay the cost of their over indulgence.

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  16. tvb (4,361 comments) says:

    Sugary drinks have no food value. They are pointless except to add to the obesity problem. Get rid of them. Many are already in plain packaging. We already have 50% less sugar drinks. That should be mandatory. That is no fruit drink and fizzy drink should have more than a low % of sugar.

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  17. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    Judith

    What you seem to be overlooking is that the social cost of people overindulging in ( name nasty product de-jour here ) is only a social cost because we insist on socialising such costs. Taxing sugar to protect the public from public health costs is only an issue because we insist on fully socialising health.

    You’ve just pulled another bandaid out of the box to slap on socialism. Well done.

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  18. Grant (436 comments) says:

    Anything else we should get rid of, tvb?
    Anything else, that to you at least, has no value and should be done away with?
    Perhaps things like, expensive cars, hot rods, heavy metal music, wedding cakes, designer jeans, sporting rifles, overseas holidays, fancy headstones, I could go on….
    Perhaps we could all wear the sames clothes, eat the same food, drive the same cars (if we’re to be allowed cars at all), and then the inequality problem would be solved, along with the obesity problem, wouldn’t it?? Just like in North Korea.
    People like you and Yoza are bloody creepy.
    G

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  19. Viking2 (11,412 comments) says:

    burt (7,309 comments) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Judith

    What you seem to be overlooking is that the social cost of people overindulging in ( name nasty product de-jour here ) is only a social cost because we insist on socialising such costs.
    =============

    YEP.

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  20. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (876 comments) says:

    Thanks burt (7,309 comments)!!!

    Kale cultivation is coming! There will be a Green minister for Kale….

    Kale is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:

    1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.

    2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

    3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

    4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.

    5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

    6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

    7. Kale is high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.

    8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.

    9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility

    10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

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  21. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I just can’t help thinking that ‘a Green minister for Kale’ is prophetic. You are a funny guy, love your work.

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  22. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    tvb,

    Sugary drinks have no food value. They are pointless except to add to the obesity problem. Get rid of them…That should be mandatory.

    The way the left resorts so easily to violence never ceases to amaze me.

    Till now the thuggish left has been championing the use of violence to stop us eating fatty foods, a policy which resulted directly in the current obesity levels as people switched to alternatives necessarily laden with sugar to make them palatable.

    And now, having been so disastrously wrong on the subject for the last four decades and having sent millions of people to an early grave, they don’t even blush or bat an eyelid as they switch horses and now propose violence to limit the amount of sugar we consume.

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  23. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,309 comments) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    You have a very strange interpretation of socialism. But call it what you will. When I have to pay huge amounts of tax, for a health bill caused by people over-indulging in sugar and getting ill, then it appears to me it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure those people contribute more to their own health costs.

    I realise that you’d like to live in a society where the weak in society would be left to rot in their own kind of hell, but not all of us feel that way. Some of us know that not everyone has the same chances and intelligence, and that any mature society works towards finding a system where even the weakest among them is given the best chance possible to reach their full potential – and if that means passing legislation to make it that way, then so be it.

    It is in the best interests of society to ensure that all its members are healthy and self-sufficient.

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  24. Michael (904 comments) says:

    Unlike Tobacco, which is unsafe at any level of consumption (every cigarette harms), sugar and alcohol are beneficial in moderate amounts. Your brain needs sugar to function so you need to consume it, moderate alcohol consumption has an overall benefit to health.

    Trying to equate all three into the same category is just plain stupid.

    P.S. One portion of butter chicken typically contains about 40g of saturated fat. That’s 3.5 times the saturated fat content of a Big Mac combo (with medium drink and fries), and you don’t hear the health nazis wanting to ban Indian Restaurants… the true motivation is to punish large corporates like Coke and Pepsi because they hate capitalism.

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  25. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    The peoples Kale. Sold in plain home knitted hemp bags at ‘Dear Leader Peoples Food’ outlets nationwide.

    Sorry folks, it’s illegal to sell or grow your own Kale without a permit which entitles the state the pick of your crop for collective distribution via ‘Dear Leader Peoples Food’ outlets.

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  26. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    I used to drink a litre of sugary fruit juice every couple days. When I was a teen I drank Pepsi several times a week. I was also skinny as a rail and fit. I used up the energy, my body’s fast metabolism burned it off easily. When I did start to put on just a few pounds in my mid 20s I realised I wasn’t getting the same fitness level I used to and couldn’t have as much sugar, so I cut out the fruit juice completely and switched to water. It isn’t rocket science, people know sugary crap is bad for them in large amounts, but unlike tobacco it isn’t harmful in small amounts and it isn’t physically addictive. There is no need to tax it like a dangerous drug. And the whole plain packaging thing is a just a war on corporations the left dislikes. Amazing that they haven’t even trialled it on tobacco yet and they already want to expand it to sugar.

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  27. Inky_the_Red (756 comments) says:

    I think I prefer Nanny State to Big Brother

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  28. kowtow (8,317 comments) says:

    Tobacco ,harmful?So bloody what? . It’s about choice ,private property rights and the role of gummint.Tobacco is a legal product and should be left alone.So should sugar.

    Starting with the tobacco precedent , where will you lot protecting us from harm draw the line?There won’t be one.There ‘ll be more and more of this.

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  29. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    Judith

    Sugar is one proxy that can be used to collect tax under the guise of it having a health cost. Tobacco is another, as are roads, stairs, windows, pedestrian crossings, busses, bicycles, high heals, salt, running, tree climbing – why is sugar on your agenda?

    Because somebody put it there – but why ?

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  30. m@tt (627 comments) says:

    Totally. Without pretty pictures on consumer products life as we know it will end.

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  31. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    Judith

    It is in the best interests of society to ensure that all its members are healthy and self-sufficient.

    Absolutely, this is very true. The thing is socialism says ‘don’t worry we got this’ and capitalism says ‘you need to sort this yourself’ – which do you think has a better chance on delivering a long term tick in the box for self-sufficient ?

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  32. Manolo (13,574 comments) says:

    Why are you surprised, DPF?
    The National Party, in association with the racist Maori Party, plans to do exactly the same with tobacco?

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  33. burt (8,236 comments) says:

    m@tt

    Yes, imagine how much cheaper products can be if producers don’t need to spend billions on advertising. Cigarette advertising was banned decades ago and the savings to the tobacco companies … They’ve been dwarfed by the tax increases.

    I was watching Drugs Inc. the other night and was pretty appalled that the pushers of desirable ( plus dangerous and addictive ) generally make 100% profit on selling drugs. That’s the government too with tobacco isn’t it? You want that to be the government with sugar as well. It’s clear you care deeply about the health of people and you’ve not just been conned into supporting an overbearing state that wants to profit like nasty private enterprise from people’s misery.

    If you can’t ban it – own it … Just make sure the state is the key stake holder in the profits – with no responsibility.

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  34. Left Right and Centre (2,971 comments) says:

    All of the sugar tax threads I trot out the same lines . . .

    You’d have to plain package everything. Everything that’s high in sugar. High in fat. High in food energy value.

    Anyone could go sumo eating nothing but oats and milk. Soft drink is one contributory item – even if it’s a doozy.

    Myself – before Oct 2012 I consumed approx 8 litres full fat milk per week at around 250kj / 100mls. I’d estimate maybe 30-40% of my overweight body was the milk alone. I was 95-100kg – and I didn’t drink soft drink a lot – and I didn’t eat out – and I didn’t eat shitloads of junk. Because I didn’t want to spend the extra money. Did it all with big dinners and milk and sandwiches and a few extras (when the ex-gf was feeding me – oh yeah – I was eating shitolata non-stop big time – I’ll give you that – but still not a lot of soft drink – I drink tea endlessly).

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  35. Redbaiter (8,529 comments) says:

    “The National Party, in association with the racist Maori Party, plans to do exactly the same with tobacco?”

    Yep. Any Nat Party supporter needs to explain that conundrum.

    They won’t though.

    They’ll just drool mindlessly over the “popular” left wing Key and ignore it.

    Like they do with all of the similar conundrums that expose the Nat party as pretty much as a big a bunch of commies as the Labour/ Green faction.

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  36. Left Right and Centre (2,971 comments) says:

    I do my part to send a demand signal to the capitalist market by buying a fair bit of sugar free soft drink. I even happened upon the Amatil rep at pak n save; asked re chance of more flavours – hahaha – why not ? Where there’s life there’s hope; where there’s Fanta Zero introduced recently, there’s hope for Diet Lift and Sugar Free L&P . . . shush – it could happen . . .

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  37. Johnboy (16,059 comments) says:

    What can I say Red?

    We all await with baited breath for the bright new hope that will burst into light when a new popular party that espouse’s everything you say gets more than 61 seats! :)

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  38. MT_Tinman (3,130 comments) says:

    Inky_the_Red (724 comments) says:
    May 31st, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    I think I prefer Nanny State to Big Brother

    Well I don’t!

    I’d far rather have the honesty of a dictator than the total and absolute dishonesty of the communistic Nanny State.

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  39. calendar girl (1,215 comments) says:

    Re the TVNZ description in the original item. What’s an “Auckland University marketing expert”? Sounds like an oxymoron to me.

    Interesting that, in his UoA profile, Dr Lee’s fist two “areas of expertise” are listed as:
    Anti-consumption
    Brand avoidance

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  40. Odakyu-sen (598 comments) says:

    We’re on a roll with Martin Niemöller this week:

    First they came for the cigarettes, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a smoker.

    Then they came for the fast food, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Big Mac fan.

    Then they came for the fizzy drinks, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a soda drinker.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

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  41. calendar girl (1,215 comments) says:

    @DPF: I endorse your reaction to proposals for plain packaging of fizzy drinks.

    But don’t blame the food Nazis entirely for wanting plain packaging on sugary foods, or on whatever’s to follow. You yourself have championed test markets for cigarette “plain packaging”, all the time disregarding principles of private property rights. And closing your eyes conveniently to the the state’s hypocrisy in grabbing enormous taxes from an evil (but legal) product. (Yes, I know, it’s all in the interest of smokers, of course, even if the penalty taxes far exceed the calculated “health costs” of smoking.)

    If a product is so unsafe, harmful, or detrimental to society, a government should have the political courage and principles to ban it outright.

    As for “plain packaging”? It’s not “plain” at all. Where this has been mandated on cigarette packs, they are festooned with mandatory messages of condemnation from the all-knowing state. I wish our Government had used that strategy on egg cartons 10 or 20 years ago so that the idiocy of such measures could now be evident to all.

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  42. itstricky (1,797 comments) says:

    That is the game plan. Anything they disapprove of will be banned, or plain packaged.

    Sugar must be a bigger killer than legal highs. But when they banned those you said the Government was being “not unreasonable”. Is it the case that you apply the above logic to things only that you see fit?

    Aside, there are certain elements here who whine about certain groups being to fat and wasting all their hard worked tax payer cash (yeah, I know, the usual) on unnecessary hospital time whilst simultaneously denigrating any attempt to regulate, trumpeting that it is “an individual’s choice”. Have ya cake ‘n’ eat it too?

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  43. Manolo (13,574 comments) says:

    @calendar girl: Very well said.

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  44. itstricky (1,797 comments) says:

    Manolo giant green up tick for a comment that didn’t include the word ‘luddite’ or ‘stone ager’. Never thought I would see the day.

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  45. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Take my mid-afternoon blue V from my cold dead hands you commie fuckers

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  46. Harriet (4,851 comments) says:

    “…..Sugary drinks have no food value. They are pointless except to add to the obesity problem…..” – yep, just like drugs have no nutritional value. They are pointless except to add to society’s ills.

    “…… Get rid of them. Many are already in plain packaging. We already have 50% less sugar drinks. That should be mandatory. That is no fruit drink and fizzy drink should have more than a low % of sugar…….”

    LOL…………..you already have to pay to go to the dentist…………that’s the price point that deters most people most of the time from eating/drinking too much sugar.
    And if they are too stupid to work that out in their personal budget & shopping list and then find that they can’t pay to go to the dentist – then the point of pain stops them from consuming more sugar!

    There is no need for any other regulation that deters people from consuming too much sugar.

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  47. OneTrack (3,020 comments) says:

    inky-the-red “I think I prefer Nanny State to Big Brother”

    But that’s why they are so convenient. They come in the same package.

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  48. Ed Snack (1,848 comments) says:

    Judith, your problem is that you complain but actually have no idea what you are talking about. Hugely fat, obese people SAVE THE STATE MONEY ! Really, they cost more but die younger, considerably so.

    Quote: “The researchers found that from age 20 to 56, obese people racked up the most expensive health costs. But because both the smokers and the obese people died sooner than the healthy group, it cost less to treat them in the long run…….Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on. The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.”

    This is from a Dutch study. More quotes:

    “It costs more to care for healthy people who live years longer, according to a Dutch study that counters the common perception that preventing obesity would save governments millions of dollars.

    “It was a small surprise,” said Pieter van Baal, an economist at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, who led the study. “But it also makes sense. If you live longer, then you cost the health system more.”

    In a paper published online Monday in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal, Dutch researchers found that the health costs of thin and healthy people in adulthood are more expensive than those of either fat people or smokers.”

    So your entire justification for being totalitarean about sugary drinks disappears in a flash of smoke, will you now encourage people to get fat since you are so obsessed with the cost ?

    You should also recall the last major campaign around diet to improve peoples health, the war of saturated fats and salt, which as we now know do not have the negative effects ascribed to them. But the campaign, emphasising large scale consumption of carbohydrates did have an impact, the one you see now. Good intentioned maybe, but criminally insanely wrong all the same. Remind us, the road to where is paved with good intentions ?

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  49. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    Ed, the problem with assessing the cost of health care for people over their lifetimes in that way is that of course health care is funded by either taxes or health insurance. The person living longer will have paid more taxes or health insurance premiums.

    You really need to identify the impact of obesity/diabetes etc on work income to make any useful observation. If health problems lead to benefit dependency or career development difficulty then the productivity of the economic society is impacted.

    Ultimately the relativity is determined by how retirement is funded.

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  50. Crusader (305 comments) says:

    Plain pack is available already, (or home brand – whatever). It’s crap, but cheap, so pretty popular.

    I presume what the Mike Lee wants to do is to nationalise production of plain pack drink (“Kiwi-Kola” anyone?) and ban the sales of Coke/Pepsi etc. Then we will all be drinking the same stuff, and nobody’s mixers will be better than anyone else’s.

    A man walks into a bar: “I’ll have a rum and plain-pack Kiwi-Kola, please. Make is a double, I’ve had a hard day trying to follow Government directives.”

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  51. tvb (4,361 comments) says:

    Sugar is white poison and the evidence is piling up. The obesity problem is exploding. I am amazed the number of young people who are overweight. Young women especially. Their fat bulging arse straining badly fitting pants. Revolting. God knows what their blood sugar is saying. And many smoke as well. And then you look at what they are buying for their families with their fat kids. All those sugary soft drinks. Get rid of them.

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  52. SPC (5,595 comments) says:

    The approach that Greenpeace uses to influence producers to change their sources (for environment reasons) etc, could be applied by an activist group trying to get food producers to improve food safety (including a reduction in the sugar and salt content of their foods – which is too high in staples like baked beans for example).

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  53. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    Detoxes are a myth used to sell enemas and personal trainer/nutrition sessions to people with less brain cells than testicles.

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