WEIGHTLINE 026: 90Kg
Sugar, how it is used & what it represents doesn't exactly marry up with the clean green image we all want to have of New Zealand. Nature at its softest, finest & most glorious is what NZ should represent, and tons of sugar in processed food jars with that image. I can conjure up an picture of an overweight person (probably me for this scenario) standing admiring a fabulous natural landscape with mountains, forests, lakes & waterfalls all in one view, simultaneously stuffing my face with, alternately, a massive cheap burger & a huge bag of lollies. I might as well be smoking as well! Sugar does as much harm, and will arguably do more harm, than smoking. How can these two images go together? Seriously! We are concerned about our wildlife, our waterways to the extent that we have legislation to protect them. We are taxing the hell out of tobacco. Why, when it is potentially the worst of all, do we do nothing to stop the inexorable march of the sugar monster?
We protected our children from tobacco many, many years ago by simply banning them from smoking. Sugar attacks our kid's fundamental health, not just their teeth as is often thought. Not only do we do nothing about it, we actually use sugar, in the form of sweets, as gifts; tokens of our friendship & love. So sugar is embedded in our culture in a way that tobacco never could be. But it's gone beyond sweets & it's in practically everything, that's the real issue. There has been debate over whether we should have a sugar tax on drinks. Just on drinks! There should be a sugar tax full stop. How many decades has it taken to get to the point we have with tobacco? And we haven't banned it yet. How many lives have been lost because we took no action. And how many will be lost, at considerable cost, because we refuse to wake up to what sugar is doing? For goodness sake, it's as if the government was a naughty schoolchild, secretly enjoying their sweets so they couldn't possibly admit the real truths…
If we want our garden of Eden at the edge of the Tasman, we have to get a healthy population & that means protecting it from itself, shielding it from temptation. Sugar is the modern apple & I'll leave it up to you to decide who the snakes in the grass are… You can really sense I was tempted today, can't you!