A scorecard on government (in)action

Australia is dragging its feet on healthy eating. In 5 years we’ve made woeful progress

I was surprised that food labelling is rated so highly. The lack of any action to directly discourage bad food choices, as in the sugary drinks tax employed by so many countries was made plain.

Under the question of what is holding us back the authors get coy, talking about plans that have no action nor consequences. To me this is code for government inaction, or perhaps unfounded faith in the food industry doing the right thing without coercion. The article isn’t afraid to be plain in some respects though.

Federal government policy action is needed to improve population diets and address obesity. This includes:

  • protecting children from exposure to the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages through comprehensive and consistent national legislation
  • implementing a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages (a sugar tax) and other unhealthy food, while addressing the affordability of healthy food
  • improving food labelling by mandating the Health Star Rating scheme and requiring warning labels on products high in added sugar, sodium (salt) and/or saturated fat.