This Twitter Thread Explains Why Raising the Price of Junk Food Could Hurt as Many Kids as It Helps

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If you’ve ever done your own grocery shopping in the UK (or US), then you’ve probably noticed that eating healthy comes at a cost. You could easily pop over to a fast food joint or buy a giant bag of say, pizza rolls, and fill your belly to the brim for the same price (or less) than you could make a salad at home or keep an assortment of fresh fruit on hand for a healthy snack.

That said, childhood obesity is also a real and growing health problem across the Western world.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has created what he calls his #AdEnough campaign to try to fight it by changing the way junk food is advertised to children, which includes lobbying for a sugar tax that would increase the prices for fatty, sugary, junky food.


“This is a tax for good; this is a tax for love; this is designed to protect and give to the most disadvantaged communities,” he said in a statement.

That said, many people are calling him out for a couple of things.


First, Oliver has a Cookies and Cream drink that’s served in a chocolate cup and contains 46 teaspoons of sugar (6x the daily recommended allowance for a child).

Second, as pointed out in this brilliant thread by Twitter user Ketty Hopkins, the tax would not help “the most disadvantaged communities” at all, since those are the exact same people who need cheap food in order to survive.

Things got pretty bad for her and her family…

Like really, insanely, horribly bad…

Hopkins grew up in a low-income family, and explained, based on her own experience, why eating healthy sometimes (most of the time) wasn’t really an option.



But they weren’t lazy. Her father was emotionally devastated and completely overwhelmed.


This next part is just… wow.


Instead of making bad food cost more, Ketty has some pretty good insights – and suggestions – on how to help families and children currently struggling to make ends meet.


Being healthy takes effort, and her father simply didn’t have the energy.


She also reminds people that judging others for what they’re eating isn’t any more helpful than it is nice – it’s more often than not money, not laziness, that’s at issue.

After all, she points out, if her father had not bought cheap, unhealthy food, their family wouldn’t have been able to afford food at all.



Better to change the system that keeps people at a disadvantage than to try to keep all food out of their reach, price-wise, in the meantime.




It’s hard to disagree with her logic, though I’m sure some will!