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Global food tax could help families lose weight, UN official says

Unhealthy foods should be regulated, says a United Nations official who believes it's one way to force families to deal with obesity and its related costs.
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: May 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm •  Published: May 23, 2014

Unhealthy foods ought to be regulated, according to a United Nations official who issued a May 19 press release calling for unified global action to help families deal with obesity and its related costs.

"Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco," said Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food. His remarks advanced the May 21 launch of new recommendations called "Towards a Global Convention to Protect and Promise Healthy Diets" at a World Health Organization summit. The release came from the U.N. Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

De Schutter said the risks of a high-fat, unhealthy diet are well known, as are risks associated with obesity, but "the international community continues to pay insufficient attention to the worsening epidemic of obesity and unhealthy diets."

Among his five priorities are taxing unhealthy foods, boosting local food producers, reducing junk-food ads, examining "misguided" farm subsidies and "regulating foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar."

Fox News said the announcement is an attempt to get the same international cooperation secured in 2005 when what it called "the U.N. global convention on tobacco control" was approved.

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