Obesity has been coined as the great plague of the XXI century. The deteriorating purchasing power, Irreconcilable generalization of working hours with healthy living, the proliferation of high-calorie food choices on the shelves of supermarkets, bad habits eating and physical inactivity rampant forge the basics of a perfect breeding ground for rampant this problem campe.
in EE. UU., Mexico, and increasingly in more countries, the percentage of the population overweight, morbid obesity or obesity exceeds 30 percent of total. This It makes exceptional expenses incurred society, as derivatives of all diseases of the cardiovascular system are associated with excess weight currently treated in hospitals, or increasing the incidence of diseases such as diabetes, requiring costly chronic treatments produce and provide.
To combat this scourge studied various tax rates that have deterrent effect on consumers, at the same time serving as a vehicle for raising taxes which later are intended for the management and expansion of public health and education against bad food.
The most common of these taxes is affecting sugary drinks. We can find examples of its operation in our neighboring country. While a half-liter can of energy drink has an amount around ninety cents in Spain we, in France it is difficult to get a can equal less than two and a half euros. The difference is evident.
However, sugary drinks, including traditional canned soft drinks and new concoctions latest appearance, are not the only items that have a detrimental effect on the health of people. And if what we want is to fight obesity, It needs to combat malnutrition on all fronts.
A study published in the prestigious The British Medical Journal entitled "Potential impact on the prevalence of obesity in the UK with an increase in the 20 percent in price in rich snacks sugar: a modeling study "and with the participation 36 324 families, shows a strong correlation between the increase in the tax rate on products at the core of the dispute and two possible changes in consumer behavior: a limitation on acquisition of conflicting products and a change in the perception of healthy products becomes the most desirable.
Changes in consumption patterns occur across the board in all socioeconomic segments, indicating that a tax on snacks sweet serve to slow, halt or even reverse the incidence of overweight in every home, purchasing power regardless of family.
The article shows that the implementation of such a tax avoids consumption 8900 kilocalories extra per year, which translates into a loss of 1.3 kg in those with BMI higher than recommended by medical authorities. This result paves the way for a tax, that although it is greatly feared by some lobbies, It seems to have a beneficial social impact.
The establishment of such solutions will surely not take place immediately, but over the next few years it is likely that we will see the proliferation of this kind of measures in different Western governments. Spain does not escape from the rumor mill, which it has increased in recent weeks.
If finally creek in our countries, There is no doubt that one way or another affected restaurants, since some of the products offered in its bars and canteens of obligation will have to be substantially more expensive, Y part of the turnover of these provisions will evaporate as soon as they enter into force.
With a holistic anti-obesity tax would be affected industrial bakery, the candies, chocolates and sugary drinks. This if the enemy is limited to refined sugars. If saturated fats are also on target, spectrum strongly priced products would expand considerably, including salty snacks like chips, nuts and other.
In the unlikely event that these additional fees come to stay, the restorer will face a harsh reality: ¿inflates the prices of these items or absorb the price increase sacrificing their profit margin? The answer depends on each individual case and find the right solution will depend on the A / B tests to be made in situ.
We know that consumption drops to the increasing tax burden on these foods, but the response of the study TheBMJ It refers to the home environment. What happens then in the restaurant? ¿Show the customer indifference to the consumer be an extraordinary? Does the phenomenon pierce through borders and hit the sector tackles restoration?
Many questions remain in the air and there are few answers today. We can only wish the best for our fellow citizens are overweight, and a fruitful exercise of the business of catering to our professional colleagues.