Wait. Before you stuff that hot dog in your hole, would you be willing to pay extra for the privilege? You might have to.
Experts on The British Medical Journal's website claim that proposed taxes on junk food would have to be significant -- as in, 20 per cent higher -- to have any effect on the current obesity and heart disease epidemic.
The question is, if unhealthy food and drinks became more expensive, would we quit consuming them? In an ideal world, the tax would go in tandem with a subsidy for healthy items such as fruit and vegetables.
But we don't live in an ideal world, and you only need whiz around the aisles of your local supermarket to see that it is infinitely cheaper to dine on junk than it is to buy fresh, let alone local or organic.
More and more countries are introducing junk taxes. So far the effect is most felt, according to Oliver Mytton and colleagues at the University of Oxford, when it comes to taxing sugary drinks. A 35 per cent tax on sweetened drinks in a canteen led to a 26 per cent decline in sales, according to a recent U.S. study. If this is the future, then the health rewards reaped surely outweigh the dent in the pocket?
On the flip side, all those junk food manufacturers create jobs, jobs which would be axed following such a sharp drop in sales. And whether the funds raised from the proposed junk taxes be put in the right place --- i.e. "treat related diseases, subsidize healthy foods, or to stimulate industry reformulation of food (such as removal of salt, sugar, or saturated fats from foods)" -- remains to be seen.
Would a tax put you off buying junk food, or would you give in to the craving regardless? Would the rich get fatter, and the poor get healthier?
Dorel Distribution Canada, Health Canada, and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) have jointly recalled all versions of the Safety 1st Sure Fit Toilet Locks (model numbers 48003 and 48103) and Cabinet Slide Locks (model numbers 12013 and 12014), as children may be able to disengage the locks, posing various hazards, from drowning to poisoning. (Model numbers can be found on the back of the locks.)
Although there have no reports of injuries, Dorel Distribution Canada (DDC) has received seven reports of children managing to disengage the toilet locks, and 17 of cabinet locks not being adequately secured.
In the United States, Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG) has received hundreds of such reports involving failing toilet and cabinet locks. In one incident, a 13-month-old boy swallowed toxic beads from a craft kit and was admitted to hospital overnight.
Customers should immediately remove the recalled locks and contact DDC for a free replacement lock of a different model. Obviously dangerous items should be stored out of reach of children.
For further information, customers are advised to contact DDC toll-free at 1-877-416-8105 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the company's website.
Between January 2005 to January 2012, approximately 28,812 of the toilet locks were sold in Canada. Between January 2002 to February 2009, 508,911 units of the cabinet locks were sold at various retailers in Canada.
Ok, so as a group we parents may whine and complain a lot. It's cathartic, after all. But in spite of being frequently deprived of both sleep and spare time, it seems we're happier than our non-parent compadres.
So say researchers from the University of California, Riverside, the University of British Columbia and Stanford University in a series of studies conducted throughout the United States and Canada.
"In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery" will be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science.
Parents are happier when taking care of their children than while doing other daily activities.
Fathers, in particular, expressed greater levels of happiness, positive emotion and meaning in life than their childless peers.
Older and married parents tend to be the happiest.