The war on obesity is getting serious. There is talk of the need for rationing!
Is it conceivable that some form of food rationing and portion control may help address the dramatic rise in obesity and the sustainability of our foods supply? If we continue to over-consume foods in unsustainable ways for both our health and our planet, we may be left with no other choice.
That’s called “empower[ing] people to change their eating behaviour.” Not a bad idea – it’s worked before:
During the second world war (1939–1945), the British government introduced food rationing with a point system in every household. Everyone was allocated a number of points a month and certain food items, such as meat, fish, biscuits, sugar, fats, and tea, were rationed.
Every adult was given a total of 16 points a month and could choose how to spend these points. Special supplements were available for young children, pregnant women, and people with certain diseases. Wartime food shortages and government directives forced people to adopt different eating patterns. They ate considerably less meat, eggs, and sugar than they do today.
Rationing was enforced in Britain for 14 years, and continued after the war had ended. Meat was finally derationed in June 1954. Petrol was also rationed, so people stopped buying and using cars, and public transport was limited. There was no “obesity epidemic” as food supply and travel was limited, meaning people ate less and did more physical exercise (walking).
Interestingly, during the years when rationing was enforced, the prevalence of obesity was negligible in the United Kingdom.
Not to mention the nightly bombings, fear of invasion, etc.
Update: Fire and Ice in comments:
There will be no fat tax under the government that I will lead, but I am determined to put a price on obesity.