Bethan Davies

Fitness & Motivation Coach
Hastings, United Kingdom

About Bethan

Languages

English

Areas of Expertise

Motivation, Fitness & Training, Nutrition & Health, Exercise

Comments & conversations

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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
Hi Allan, Thanks for joining the conversation. Personally I think a politician tax sounds like a great idea : ) Good point about media and food industry influences. But do you think that this is something that is likely, or even possible to change? I think in the last few years the media has shown some progress in promoting a healthier body image, especially with regards to using sports people as opposed to stick thin models in magazines/advertising etc. However, since most people will never look like athletes, is this still glorifying a body type that is unachievable for most? The media would probably argue that they only convey what people want to see, and people don't want to see/read about joe average. So I guess what I'm asking is, do you think there is a way the media can promote a healthier outlook without losing people's interest?
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
Hi Chris, Thanks for joining the conversation. I agree that it's a very tough call. I don't claim to know any of the answers and I'm sure there are many more people out there who are far better equiped than myself to tackle the issue. The only thing that I can say with any certainty is that whatever we are doing at the moment is not working. I guess we can only hope that by encouraging more people to discuss the issue we might get closer to a way of dealing with what is fast becoming one of the biggest health issues around the world.
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
I hear you. I'm just playing devils advocate here, I didn't mean to offend. I'm not meaning to express any opinion on the matter here. Simply asking questions and challenging views. Sorry if you got the wrong end of the stick. My apologies
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
So far, most people seem to agree that we have a problem with sugar consumption, but for one reason or another feel that taxing sugar is either A) too impractical/difficult to enforce B) a violation to personal freedom or C)part of a much wider problem that cannot be solved through tax policy. Do you agree? I'd also love to hear from anybody who A) thinks that taxing sugar could be a good idea, and if so, how would it work? B) thinks that sugar and HFCS are not as harmful to health as some research would suggest. Do you think sugar is being demonised unfairly? look at research into saturated fat in the 90's and 00's and how experts are backtracking now. C)Has a suggestion of a better way to deal with the current obesity epidemic.
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
A great point. If taxing a harmful substance has little or no impact on consumer habits then it does simply become another way for the government to levy more money. Would it make a difference if the money got pumped directly into the health care system? After all, obesity, diabetes and related conditions now cost the health care system more than alcohol or tobacco. Is it fair that our health care is under threat or is personal freedom more important than access to decent medical care? Can education tackle the problem? or will people always seek out pleasure regardless of the consequences as one of the previous commenters suggested?
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
Thanks for joining the conversation. You make some great points. Enforcing a tax on sugar would never be straightforward. I would also hasten to add that I'm not implying that all sugar is inherently bad. Some sugars (In the form of complex carbohydrates such as those in fruits and vegetables) are in fact essential for good health. The last thing we would want is people dodging fruit and veg and taking a whole load of man made vitamin pills instead! The issue really needs to revolve around added sugars, especially those with proven health implications such as HFCS. Although I'm not sure where things like genetically modified fruit or added enzymes would fit into the equation. Possibly you're right and it's a practical impossibility, companies will always find ways to avoid taxes and restrictions on what they can sell. Is there a better alternative? Or are we fighting a losing battle?
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
Thanks for taking the time to respond, it's always interesting to hear the point of view from different age groups and perspectives. I agree that freedom of choice is important. But my question is that if sugar could be responsible for the growing obesity epidemic, can we afford to just ignore the problem? Freedom of choice is a great ideal. But when our health service is under severe pressure, with obesity and related problems now costing us more than alcohol and tobacco put together, is it fair to let everybody pay the cost for those who choose to over consume?
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
You say that educating people is the only answer. Yet many intelligent, educated people who are fully aware of the risks associated with diabetes/obesity are overweight and continue to eat foods that they know will damage their health and could even contribute to their premature death. Should we just ignore the problem and let them get on with it? What about the cost to our crumbling health service? the billions that could be spent on other problems? Often, knowing that something is bad for you isn't enough. Especially when we are constantly surrounded by the things that we know are bad. Could a sugar tax help pump some money back into the health service that desperately needs it? Or if not, does the education you mentioned simply need to take a different form. Maybe rather than simply telling people something is bad we need to educate about health in a more practical, hands on way? Or maybe we should privatise health care? although that didn't seem to go to well for other industries. Look at the state of our railways, not exactly a glowing example of privatisation. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
Interesting point. Is alcohol not tackled with as much vigour? I would be tempted to argue that most people are at least aware of how damaging substances such as alcohol and tobacco can be, but choose to indulge regardless of the health implications. Perhaps the reason why people argue so passionately over sugar is because the jury is still out on how damaging it really is? Especially when you begin to consider alternatives such as artificial sweeteners which many would argue are more damaging than the sugar itself. But you're right, I'm sure in 100 years time people will be having a similar conversation over some other substance.
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Bethan Davies
Posted over 1 year ago
Should there be a sugar tax?
I can see your point. There are always unforeseen consequences for our actions. Today's over reliance on sugar containing foods and refined carbohydrates is itself largely due to the widespread assumption in the 1980's and 90's that fat was the main culprit in unhealthy Western diets. This led to a wave of 'healthy' and 'diet' foods where the fat content would be replaced with sugar instead. But should we let our mistakes in the past prevent us from trying to improve the future. Yes there will always be consequences, but what is the alternative? do nothing?