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Honestly, I don't know. I think we already do a lot of things right - prominent nutritional and calorie labelling, the restriction of advertising junk food to children, the push in education for teaching kids to make better choices. I'm not convinced regulating junk food would solve the problem, I'm quite sure people still buy full fat coke depite the sugar tax, and it's just as easy to become and remain obese on bread and butter than it is on crisps.
One thing I learned when I lost weight was that no one thing works for everyone - when I tried going cold turkey on junk food, as it were, I would inevitably fail and end up binging the foods I had come to crave. Counting calories only works if you are disciplined enough to be honest with yourself, and if you are severely overweight, you likely do not have much in the way of discipline. Losing weight for someone who habitually overeats is quite a big lifestyle change, and I think the decision and drive to do so has to come from within - I am not sure even something extreme like sending people to a government mandated fat camp would bring about lasting change.
I believe my food problems came from a lack of self-discipline, I was never taught to control myself, I got away with everyfuckingthing so I never had to. But equally forcing you child to eat every last scrap on their plate is clearly going to cause an issue with food too.
Perhaps you hit the nail on the head when you said that we simply don't understand cooking in this country - it's very true. If you can't cook for yourself, if you don't understand how or why fresh food is good, if you have no experience at all in preparing a balanced meal, then of course your crutch will become fast food, processed food, and junk food.
It has always stuck out to me that in Italy, arguably one of the strongest food cultures on the planet, has a higher than average (nearly one in three) childhood obesity rate, yet a much lower (one in ten) adult obesity rate. So there you might spoil your kids, but they still learn what good food is and how to apply that to their own diets as they grow? I don't know. It's a fucking complex topic, and is not helped by people, even obese people, who don't see it for the mental problem that it is. We still think "I'm fat because I ate too much" but never "why the fuck did I eat so much?"