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October 11, 2009

The Fat Tax is Coming

HEALTH/POLITICS - What was once a joke in political circles is now becoming a reality: The Fat Tax.

First, lets look at one example of a Fat Tax already on the books.

West Virginia and Arkansas already have a tax on soft drinks. New York City is about to do the same thing, which may indeed spread to the rest of the United States and Canada.

FACT: Coke and other soft drinks account for a staggering 15% of the average American adolescent's daily caloric intake.

But other taxes are being proposed, such as taxes on 'unnatural' processed foods, fast food or anything containing an unhealthy ratio of fat/sugar/calories.

Its all part of America's ever widening battle with obesity. The idea is simple... tax unhealthy fattening foods and promote healthy alternatives / exercise.

For example last month Barack Obama openly mused about having a farmers' market across the street from the White House. It didn't happen, but this week Michelle Obama was cutting the ribbons to open a new farmers' market down the street a block away.

Michelle Obama also started her own vegetable garden on the White House lawn, again promoting the idea that Americans can save money and eat healthier (and get exercise) by growing their own vegetables.

Since 1999 the health costs of obesity in America have doubled. Its now over $147 billion per year.

Another closely related price is the $116 billion spent on type 2 diabetes, which is caused by overeating/lack of exercise.

Hundreds of billions more is spent on cardiovascular diseases and obesity-related cancers. The more we consume, the more toxic materials enter our bodies and cause serious health problems.

According to the current rates in the rise of obesity 75% of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2015.

Creating a Fat Tax is only one part of the solution. The money raised from that tax needs to be used to help make more Farmers' Markets, promote healthy eating, boost support for children's sports and recreational activities, and boost public exercise programs / public gyms.

Between TV and the internet obesity is a growing problem that will eventually endanger America's ability to be competitive in the global marketplace. To say nothing of America's dropping birth rate, skyrocketing national debt, dependency on oil and all the other problems the United States is facing.

See Also
Anorexia Vs Obesity in North America
Obesity in Canada
American Obesity Rates
Obesity in China Skyrocketing
i'm fat and lovin' it - McDonalds and Obesity
Obese Shoppers are Discriminated in Stores
Lose Weight Canada, Get Lower Taxes
Healthy Eating Out

3 comments:

  1. What I've noticed most is the lack of mentioning those that suffer weight issues not from eating but from medical issues like thyroid disorders, cancer, and so on.

    The second issue that I can see is the possibility of discrimination followed by a whopper law suit. Calling it a "fat tax" is an open invitation for a suit.

    It would be better to refer to these items as a "sweets tax" or "luxury foods tax" which is also more applicable to the intent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Matthias, you do know obesity / being overweight CAUSES thyroid disorders, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and a myriad other health problems right?

    You seem to have got it backwards. Cancer doesn't cause weight problems. Weight problems causes cancer.

    Politicians would never call it a Fat Tax. The Fat Tax is a term being used more commonly by the mass media.

    Plus the purpose of the tax is not discrimination, its to promote healthier eating and discourage fattening foods.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Its a bit like saying "cancer causes smoking"...

    ReplyDelete

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