If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Fogle is that Jared, the former pitchman for Subway restaurants. Fogle caught the attention of Subway brass in 2000 when he claimed to have lost a huge amount of weight by eating only Subway sandwiches (and eating smaller portions and avoiding sauces, and exercising, etc.).
Unfortunately, Fogle’s smart health choices weren’t mirrored in other aspects of his life. Last November, he was convicted on several charges related to child pornography and sex with minors. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. We enter dodgy territory whenever we assign a moral dimension to someone’s food choices. What we eat doesn’t make us good or bad. Besides, people tend to be pushed and pulled in various directions by forces beyond their control.
Consider the young fellow who told a syndicated medical columnist he was surviving on apples alone. Here was someone who took the “apple a day” maxim a bit too literally. He was sternly warned to vary his diet. Which brings us to the idea of a sugar tax. The notion pops up every so often. The federal government recently announced it will consider various options to limit salt and sugar content in commercial foods. The topic also showed up this week on a local call-in show.
Obviously, the strategy is vigorously opposed by the junk food industry, whose marketers have, for decades, shrewdly exploited our innate attraction to sugar, salt and fat. But junk food legislation also encounters resistance from those who feel it imposes too harsh a penalty on what should be a matter of personal choice, especially for adults — the so-called “nanny state” argument.
A ban on super-sized soft drinks in New York City recently fell apart for that very reason.
Considering the average child in Canada consumes about 33 teaspoons of sugar a day, however, the impetus to do something is very strong.
And that’s why officials in Canada will be closely monitoring the success (or failure) of a new sugar tax announced last week in Britain.
The government will charge as much as 15 cents Canadian on a can of pop, but is excluding juice and other drinks that have redeeming qualities.
It’s worth a look. Unfortunately, it will take years to find out whether the move has an impact on obesity and diabetes rates.