Kenyan Agronomist’s ‘Sugar Tax’ Plan to Fight Obesity

Kenya Agronomist Calls for Sugar Tax Hike to Combat Obesity
PHOTO - Standard Media - Kenya: Agronomist Calls for Sugar Tax Hike to Combat Obesity
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In a stunning twist of fate, an agronomist in Kenya has put forward an idea that’s sweeter than sugar itself – raising taxes on sugar and sugar-related products. Yes, you read that right. Robert Mwadime, the Chief Party Planner at Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems (KCDMS), has suggested that the solution to the country’s rising obesity rates lies in taxing sugar into oblivion.

Mr. Mwadime made this jaw-dropping proposal during what can only be described as a thrilling monologue. He’s convinced that by making sugar more expensive, people will miraculously switch to eating indigenous foods, ushering in an era of health and wellness that rivals any Hollywood fitness craze.

“Obesity is apparently a ticking time bomb here, and Kenyans’ eating habits are, in Mr. Mwadime’s words, ‘pathetic’. He believes that it’s high time for Kenya to have a serious chat about changing this sorry state of affairs,” he declared, presumably while shaking his head in disbelief at the nation’s tragic love affair with sugar.

Now, before you roll your eyes so hard that they spin like a roulette wheel, consider this: Kenya is gearing up for a National Dialogue on Agri-Food Systems. Set to take place on September 13 – 14, 2023, this event is all about indigenous foods in Kenya. You know, the ones that aren’t sugar.

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Just in case you were wondering, Kenya boasts a buffet of healthier indigenous foods, including millet, cassava, sweet potatoes, and green grams. Forget sugar; it’s time to start drooling over these.

According to the 2022 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS), 17 percent of women and 4 percent of men are reported as obese. Shocking, right? But wait, there’s more: most of these extra-cushion enthusiasts are chilling in urban areas, where you’re more likely to bump into an obese person than a parking spot.

Mwadime blames these statistics on people’s abominable eating habits. Apparently, Kenyans have a thing for wheat products, while the healthy indigenous options sit in the corner, crying, “Eat me!” He warned that if this madness continues, food could become a national security issue. Yes, you heard it here first, folks – the apocalypse might be triggered by wheat.

But wait, there’s more drama. Mwadime suspects there might be some evil-genius plot to push wheat and maize flour on Kenyans while sabotaging their health. Are wheat and maize flour secretly the masterminds behind Kenya’s obesity crisis? He doesn’t name names, but he’s pretty sure someone is playing with Kenyan waistlines.

To save the day, Mwadime wants a dialogue, a grand discussion, a chat fest, if you will. He’s convinced that if Kenyans can’t live without ugali (a type of porridge), they can at least consider other affordable indigenous foods. The man just wants to talk, people, is that too much to ask?

And because talking alone won’t cut it, he’s advocating for laws that force-feed Kenyans these indigenous delights. Mandatory healthy eating – what a concept.

But hold onto your sugar spoons, folks, because there’s a grand event in the works. The National Dialogue aims to gather all the big shots – private sector bigwigs, government officials, civil society leaders, and those academic types who can’t resist a good debate.

Their mission? To brainstorm ways to make Kenyans gobble up indigenous foods like it’s the last supper. They want to redefine what “indigenous” means, cook up a storm of strategies for a healthier nation, and make sure everyone knows that these foods can beat chronic diseases like they’re on a winning streak.

The sugar tax savior has spoken, and a dialogue is coming to save the day. All we need now is a catchy slogan. How about “Eat More Ugali (But Not Too Much)”?

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