Fat Tax Debate: Can Extra Taxes Curb Obesity?
The fat tax debate has folks up in arms. According to the British Medical Journal, taxing unhealthy food and beverages many help slow the rising rate of obesity.
How Much is Fat Tax?
Health advocacy groups are campaigning a 20% fat tax on sugary beverages and foods that are high in fat, citing the sharp decline of tobacco users following the steep tax imposed on cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Some experts estimate that a 20% fat tax on sugary beverages would cause a drop in obesity by 3.5% and prevent 2,700 heart-related deaths per year.[pullquote align=”right”]
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34% of Americans are obese. Lawrence Cheskin, professor at Johns Hopkins University, reports that 55% of truck drivers are obese.[/pullquote]
Obesity is one of the leading causes of sleep apnea, high cholesterol and chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer, and costs the U.S. $70 million dollars per year.
The goal of the fat tax is to help curb the sales of unhealthy food and decrease over consumption.
How Does the Public Feel About the Fat Tax?
While many health experts agree that Americans need to cut back on high fat, sugary foods, some are concerned that a blanket tax would discourage the consumption of good fats– unsaturated fats– that help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, such as nuts, salmon and avocados.
It appears that weight might not be the only thing lost if the fat tax is imposed. Some food industry groups say that higher taxes on foods could damage the food industry and lead to more job loss.
What Do You Think About the Fat Tax?
What do you think about the Fat Tax? Debate it below! Would a high tax on unhealthy food and beverages discourage your consumption?