Not a pancea: Taxing junk food may not be the answer. *MCT photo
Not a pancea: Taxing junk food may not be the answer. *MCT photo

Taxing junk food is just one of a raft of ideas that the new Health Minister will look at as she takes the reins of the department.

Jeanne Atherden told the Bermuda Sun she was keen to explore ‘all options’ to address the growing problem of obesity in Bermuda.

Ms Atherden would not be drawn on whether a tax on junk foods was likely to be implemented in Bermuda.

But she said it was one of the many ideas that Government would investigate as it moved forward.

Ms Atherden added: “There are lots of things you can put a tax on.

“I am going to have more conversations with .the right people out there about the options and what effect they would have.

“I want to be able to go through and get all the information about eating patterns and how we can change that.

“There’s no point putting a tax on something if it does not change the eating pattern or affect the problem.”

Ms Atherden recently took over from Trevor Moniz as Minister of Health.

She is also responsible for the Environment and Seniors.

In an interview with the Bermuda Sun she stressed the need to look at ‘every aspect’ of the obesity issue with an aim to reducing the problem.

Behaviour

And she told the Sun it was important that families played a part in supporting at risk relatives.

She said: “I do want to investigate how we are going to deal with obesity in Bermuda, which is on the increase.

“It is a behaviour issue we need to look at.

“We have to look at it from a point of view of the logical cause and effect.

“Once we start to look at what type of things will help, we are open to look at everything that affects the topic.

“Taxing junk food is not necessarily the answer.

“There are incentives and other options. But we need to look at all aspects.

“And tax is obviously under the Minister of Finance and would require significant discussions.”