Shall we implement "Fat Tax" on fast food or on overweight person in order to fight obesity?
Lawmakers in UK and Sweden proposed 'fat tax' on fast food, but in reality it's not easy to do that. It might be easier to implement fat tax on person in order to fight obesity, The tax could be decided by Body Mass Index (BMI), that means, bigger person pay more tax.
On one hand this could seem fair, but on the other hand there could be a medical problem which could be making certain people obese in the first place...introducing taxes on top of taxes is not really a good answer really, it must be down to a combination of healthy eating and also an understanding of what medical conditions people suffer from....it would be like taxing people for being too thin, a riduclous tax!
food shouldn't be taxed because it can make you fat. people who get fat from eating are the problem, not what food they eat.
I don't agree with tax on fast food as those of us who are not obese do sometimes enjoy a french fry or something in moderation. I DO believe however that there should be higher insurance premiums and penalties for overweight and obese people. Not to be mean, but they are a burden on the medical establishments in the US especially and cause all of our private insurance rates to rise which is not fair to those of us who do choose to live a healthier lifestyle.
We have become so politically correct on this issue that people who point out the obvious are demonized for being mean or judgmental when that is not the case. The fact of the matter is obese/overweight people who do not or will not exercise, eat right etc. are doing this of their own free will and they should have to pay for their own extra costs - not the rest of us.
I don't think taxing cigarettes worked to make people stop smoking and I don't think an obesity or "fat" tax is going to be any better. Overweight people should be educated and treated with compassion, but still expected to foot the bill for their own choices.
As for disorders - the vast majority of overweight/obese people do not have a disorder that causes them to be overweight. They have a lack of accountability and lack of knowledge about what they are truly putting into their bodies. The very few with genuine metabolic disorders of course should not have to pay higher insurance premiums etc. but that is an excuse I have heard very often and I don't typically believe it.
There already are higher insurance premiums for people who are obese (at least in the US) because they are much higher-risk individuals. Taxing people who are overweight more seems just sick and wrong to me, because it's not going to solve the problem. Many people have very sedentary jobs and have trouble controlling their weight, others don't know what a healthy portion size looks like because they weren't raised with it, and still others do have actual medical or psychological issues that lead to weight gain. In addition, many pharmaceuticals (including most birth control drugs) may lead to weight gain.
I agree that everyone should have access to dietary counseling, psychological help, and medical help for their weight issues if they choose to use them. Taxing them for it is just preposterous. Another issue -- what about the people who are really, really trying and are suddenly taxed because they're fat? That should REALLY help the self-esteem issues. I have a friend who is only 5' tall, and she weighs 350 pounds. Sounds pretty big, huh? Well, she's down from 520. Imagine if a tax were suddenly assessed to slap her in the face with the fact that, "Well, you've almost halved your body weight, but you're not doing well enough." How exactly is this supposed to help anyone, other than the government which already gets too many taxes from those who can't afford it?
It's one thing to tax fast food. It's another to tax the person with the weight problem. Some people do have bad eating habits. Others simply have a horrible metabolism and remain overweight through a genetic tendency to not digest food properly. For example, Raymond burr did not eat enough to be the size he was if he had a normal digestive system. Taxing these people because of being overweight would be prejudiced and blaming them for something decided before they were born.
I don't think it would help combat obesity. We have a sin tax for cigarettes and alcohol, but it hasn't stopped me from smoking or drinking. I just pay more for my vices.
You have to be careful about using the UK and especially Sweden as examples. They are very different societies than we are in the United States, even if we are all capitalist states. Those societies, the UK and Sweden have much, much more robust, generous social safety nets, stronger labor union representation -- much stronger and deeper, and as a consequence, much lower poverty rates.
English and Swedish workers (especially Swedish workers) work less hours for more pay -- I hear the average full-time Western European worker works twenty (20) percent less hours than we do for more money.
Given all of that, let me say that a "fat tax" is yet again, another tax on the poor and working class. Working class and the poor don't have the access to the quantity of fresh, healthier foods that the more well-off can afford and have access to geographically, and are less able to pay the higher costs for them.
We must always beware "silver bullet" kinds of solutions to problems. Without major changes in the social infrastructure a "fat tax" would just be making matters worse for the lower middle class, working class, and the poor.
Overweight person tax? I say NO for systematic (not moral) three reasons.
1) To execute the tax you'd have to get the BMI every adult person living in the country. What about immigrants? Tourists? Sounds hairy...
2) Tax exemptions for medical problems would be insane. Think government offices are busy now? Just wait.
3) What if someone loses a bunch of weight? Gonna give them a refund? Or are you going to take their weight from before to determine the tax? In fact, on what day will the BMI be decided?
Unhealthy Food Tax
Pro 1: This would reduce the consumption of unhealthy food.
Con 1: Unhealthy food, for those on the bottom, is better than no food.
Pro 2: Food producers are easier to tax than individuals.
Con 2: Determining what food is "unhealthy" could be tricky.
Pro 3: Taxes on unhealthy food would help shift producers to making healthy food.
Con 3: Likely, most producers would go as unhealthy as possible until they hit the point right before a food would be classified as "unhealthy".
Overall, I say BAD IDEA.
Souce: Econ major and did a research project on the topic.
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