A new welfare initiative is to be introduced by federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter today that will tackle the rising number of parents who do not calorie count their children’s foods.
The vast majority of parents that do receive family tax benefits do calorie count their children’s food, but there is a growing minority who object on scientific, technological or religious grounds.
The federal government claims that counting how many calories children eat is the best way to supervise how much food children eat and that is the best way to be a parent.
A government insider involved in drafting the new policy said it was “a necessary step” to protect the health and well-being of children. “This is a government that will protect all children in Australia.”
A vocal minority of so-called “anti-counters” have claimed that calorie counting does not do anything to protect the health of children. They claim there is a growing body of evidence that shows there is no value to assessing how much food a child eats when he or she is a child.
Many of the objectors live in more affluent areas of Australia and as such are unlikely to be receiving welfare benefits. But the government insists this is still a good policy that will have wider social ramifications.