While in India the government is considering implementing a ‘fat tax’ on junk food, in France the government has prohibited unlimited soda refills; a practice common in fast food restaurants. This is part of an ongoing move to tackle obesity.
A Ban On Soda Refills
Until recently, several restaurants, schools, fast food chains and even stores across France had unlimited soda refill offers or soda fountains. These would give customers continuous refills of a soda for a fixed price.
On Thursday, the government’s Journal Officiel website announced that there would be a law against such refills, effective immediately. The announcement stated that “flavoured fizzy and non-fizzy drinks, concentrated drinks like fruit syrups, drinks based on water, milk, cereal, vegetables or fruit and ports and energy drinks, fruit nectar, vegetable nectar and similar products” would fall under the prohibition.
France’s Battle Against Obesity
The World Health Organisation has suggested that countries impose a tax on sugary drinks, which France implemented in 2012. The ban on refills is just another step in France’s battle against obesity – it only allows schools to serve fries once per week and in as early as 20004 banned vending machines in schools.
“France must be an example to the world in the quality of its food, starting with its children,” agriculture and food minister Bruno Le Maire has said.
Data says that half of French adults are overweight.