Blog: Government cash just the carrot for pregnant mums
Dean Best | 10 September 2007
The phrase “nanny state” rankles with me. Governments are too often – and too easily – criticized for not doing enough to tackle a range of social ills. In the UK, for instance, the Government is constantly targeted for not being proactive enough in dealing with issues like obesity and binge drinking.
Don’t get me wrong, governments have a central and vital role in tackling these ticking social timebombs. Yet when a perfectly reasonable idea is touted to tackle these issues head on, we hear the familiar cry of a “nanny state”, cries that the Government should not “interfere” with how we run our lives. Well, we can’t have it both ways. And the UK government’s idea of giving pregnant women cash to spend on fresh fruit and veg is an eminently sensible way of the state intervening to improve the population’s health.
The measure, to be introduced in 2009, will see all expectant mothers given a one-off payment of around GBP120 (US$244) to spend on healthy food when they are seven months pregnant. Sure, some could argue that perhaps seven months is a bit late when trying to boost the nutrition a foetus gets in the womb. And, of course, while there is no compulsion to spend the cash on mangoes, melons or mushrooms, women may spend the money on alcohol and cigarettes instead.
In some quarters, the measure has been derided as a misguided policy from the “nanny state”. However, combined with intensifying health campaigns on the importance of a balanced diet – as well as the dangers of drinking and smoking during pregnancy – the cash may just be the carrot many mothers need to give their kids’ a healthier start in life.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
- Interview: Sir Kensington's on sale to Unilever
- Analysis: Post discusses rationale for Weetabix
- Who will buy Danone's Stonyfield business?
- Interview: "Disruptive" snack brand Hippeas
- Column: Why snacking is the new meal
- Unilever buys US condiments maker Sir Kensington's
- Ice cream helps Unilever sales, food flat
- Nestle organic growth slows but beats expectations
- Dairy dampens Danone in Q1
- Icelandic to sell Saucy Fish Co. owner Seachill