A junk food tax would be supported by most individuals if the money was used to lower the cost of healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables, according to a poll of approximately 1,000 slimmers.

The Lancet predicted that approximately half of all individuals will have a BMI of 30 or more (obese) by the year 2030. The article also stated that aggressive advertising and lobbying by the food industry were to blame for the increase in obesity. They suggested a tax on junk food to change the trend. Following this Slimming World ran a poll on their Facebook fan page.

48% backed the junk food tax out of approximately 1,000 individuals who participated in the poll. However, in a related poll, the support rose to 90% when the participants were asked how they would vote if the money was used to reduce the cost of healthy food.

“Taxing junk food would only help if the money was used to subsidize healthier food,” said one slimmer. “Otherwise all it would do is make shopping even more expensive for the people who can least afford it.”

Another participant said:

“Most foods that are on offer in the supermarket are high calorie convenience foods. It’s never fruit and vegetables. Simply taxing high calorie foods won’t stop people using them. We need to find ways to encourage people to eat healthily, rather than just discourage them from having junk food.”

Jenny Caven, Slimming World spokeswoman explains:

“Every week 400,000 slimmers attend their local Slimming World group to get the support and help they need to make healthy lifestyle changes. They share ideas about shopping, cooking and eating more healthily – so our slimmers are more engaged than most about what goes into their shopping baskets.

They also share ideas about overcoming barriers to becoming more active and navigating the everyday situations and circumstances that can make losing weight difficult. Like how drinking alcohol can affect weight and your motivation to lose weight.

It’s clear from this poll that finding ways of making healthy filling foods like fruit and vegetables, pasta, potatoes, rice, lean meat and fish – all of which can be eaten in unlimited amounts at Slimming World – more affordable for the average shopper would be hugely supported by our members as a way to encourage healthier lifestyles.”

Written by Grace Rattue