Fast food restaurants throughout Britain could be the target of a new Fat Tax in 2012 that would charge the owners £1,000 before they open to the public as part of a new program that would create awareness of childhood obesity. The tax would apply to independent restaurant owners, as well as the big boys like McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. This move is in addition to a previous ban on fast food establishments within 400 meters of public schools. Business owners are clearly upset with the new tax and they’re claiming that this will put a lot of people and their restaurants out of business. The customers are also upset and will complain as soon as they catch their breath.
Sounds like a greasy turmoil across the Atlantic pond, but here in America, we embrace our fatty fatty 2×4’s. For instance, this Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers will face off in Super Bowl XLV and for the first time ever both teams feature 13 players weighing in at over 300 pounds. In fact, there were 394 300-pound players in the NFL last season. Compare that to 1 in 1970. Go ahead, compare it. I’ll be eating this chocolate-covered KFC Double Down.
But some countries don’t take too kindly to being labeled obese, and certainly not our neighbors to the south in Mexico. Richard Hammond of the BBC car show “Top Gear” recently made this comment on an episode: “Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.” I know, totally harmless, right? Well apparently Mexican viewers have taken offense, claiming that the comment was bigoted, among other things. I’d describe them, but I just got a hankering for some tacos.
- The 2,000-year old Japanese sport of sumo wrasslin’ has taken a serious hit to its credibility as a wrestler’s text messages were discovered to feature details of fixed matches and other forms of cheating. Among them? Dieting. (The Guardian)
- A British study suggests that coffee and caffeine make women smarter in stressful situations, while men become dumber. The study also points out that British people drink 70 million cups of coffee each day, which ain’t doing too much for that whole teeth stereotype. (Nerve)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- 9 million children between the ages of 6 and 19 are obese, and more than 32% of boys and 27% of girls fit that hefty bill. Obesity is the second most preventable cause of death in America, behind smoking. I assume the third is alligator wrestling. (Get America Fit)
- From 1960 to 1980 only 15% of the American population was obese. By 2008, 66% of the U.S. was overweight and 31% was obese. 6 states currently have obesity rates above 30%, but not Florida because residents can’t read the fast food menus. (Buzzle)