Should eating on public transport be banned? (Survey)

Reading about food and drink on the London tube is just fine with me
CC BY 2.0 Reading about food and drink on the London tube is just fine with me/ Lloyd Alter

It is recommended in the UK to reduce obesity. I recommend it to reduce obnoxious smells and garbage.

Sarah Boseley of the Guardian writes about a recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dame Sally Davies, calling for a ban on eating and drinking on urban public transport, with certain exceptions.

Among the recommendations are bans on promoting and advertising junk food... She also called for a ban on eating and drinking on urban public transport with exceptions for drinking fresh water and eating and drinking for medical conditions. In addition, she recommended price hikes through VAT changes on junk foods high in salt, sugar or fat, with the option of plain packaging as there is for cigarettes.

People are eating all the time, everywhere.

Snacking on junk is common. Davies said: “It is now pretty normal to see people eating as they walk up the street. A couple of decades ago, it wasn’t. Portion sizes have crept up. £300m a year is spent on advertising unhealthy food and drink.

This is something that we have complained about forever on TreeHugger, the way single-use packaging has made it possible to eat all the time, everywhere, including on buses and subways.

I have often been nauseated by someone eating something smelly and disgusting on the subway, and seen them then dump their waste on the floor. I thought a ban was a great idea. But many of the people I follow who live in the UK are appalled.


Everyone else piled on.


Es Tressider makes a good point:


But four hours on a train is a very different thing than a typical trip on public transportation.

Trout with pesto and white wineTrout with pesto and white wine on Via Rail/ Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

I recently took a five-hour trip from Montreal to Toronto and had a lovely meal of trout in pesto. I don't think anyone is saying you can't eat on a four-hour train ride. But I do think that it should be banned on public transport in cities. People have forgotten how to eat; they just graze non-stop wherever they are. Our streets are littered with single-use coffee cups and pizza trays and burger wraps. I was on transit recently when a kid dropped a container of oatmeal on the floor and I had to tell people for the rest of the ride, 'Don't worry, it's not vomit.' I am with Dame Sally Davies; ban food on public transit. Poll below:


Should eating on public transport be banned? (Survey)
It is recommended in the UK to reduce obesity. I recommend it to reduce obnoxious smells and garbage.

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