Taxing fat

It is very likely that you, too, have noticed that eating fatty food makes you hungrier for more. The sensation is particularly marked for me because I seldom eat fatty food. You might know it as one or two biscuits being not enough, as thinking about another Maccas burger after the first one, as the urge to continue eating hot chips. Researchers at a US university have discovered why. A brief account is that the common saturated fat changes the brain chemistry in such a way that it actively quells the influence of hormones that tell us we've had enough to eat. I give a more detailed account of this and its impacts in my column in The Herald today.

So, eating fatty food induces us to eat more, and, as the researchers found, the inducement lasts for three days. I believe this explains the peculiar hold over so many people of the multinational fat-laden fast-food franchises.

And as the obesity epidemic is reducing the Australian life expectancy, does the subliminal, addictive power of fatty food justify a fat tax?

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