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'Fat tax' would have worked, says GP

The food industry is to blame for scaring the Government into shelving a proposed 'fat tax' according to Dr Martin Breach.

Public health minister Melanie Johnson told the House of Commons health select committee last week that a tax on fatty food was 'not likely' to form part of the Government's campaign to reduce obesity.

Dr Breach, a GP in Haydock, Merseyside, who proposed the tax at last year's BMA annual representatives meeting, said: 'They are faced with a powerful lobby who are terrified of this proposal because it will actually work. A lot of the food industry is dedicated to promoting unhealthy foods.'

Dr Breach said he favoured a carrot and stick approach to tackling obesity – using revenue from tax on unhealthy foods to subsidise healthy alternatives. He said the strategy would benefit lower socio-economic classes because of their sensitivity to price.

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