Checking out Chocolate

So I hear from the great god facebook, or at least from my splendid cousin Nicky Newman, that Woolworths in South Africa have decided to remove sweets and chocolate from the checkout aisles.[/msgbox]

This is a small gesture but one that will affect their bottom line, as any parent who has ever shopped with a child in tow, will know. In Australia Woolworths are far more concerned with providing ever-cheaper goods at the expense of our food producers. Why would they consider the community’s health? Why do politicians refuse to get involved?

When asked to consider restrictions on the advertising of junk food during children’s programming back in 2004, then PM John Howard said that children’s diets were the responsibility of parents. “I think governments have to be very reluctant to embrace too willingly the nanny state in banning this, that or the other.” (Banning desperate refugees is to be embraced though).

Under Labor, Health Minister Nicola Roxon was beside herself with glee at having forced cigarettes into the closet, where they now hide behind locked doors and in plain packages festooned with images of cancer, blindness, gangrene and assorted mayhem. Of course tobacco provides huge health costs to the nation and the poor buggers addicted to what is still a legal product. However by and large these are adults.

Consumers of high calorie, low energy lollies and chocolates are often children yet these items are cynically placed at toddler height at just the point where parents are desperate for escape. Parents are responsible for what their children eat, but surely governments and big business have a stake in raising happy, healthy children. Sorry, momentary lapse into idealism, must need a snickers bar … good on you Woolies South Africa ….Woolies Australia??