Monday, November 1, 2010

The Fat Tax

Have you heard of it?
First proposed in 1994, by a Yale prof. Yes, we know - a theory less than practical. The theory is that a 7 - 10% tax is placed on fatty foods that lead to obesity and cardiovascular disease.

'How Stuff Works' says,
Researchers at Oxford University and Nottingham University claim that a 17.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on unhealthy food could save up to 3,200 lives a year. The tax would effectively save lives by reducing demands for unhealthy foods, consequently reducing occurrences of serious complications from obesity, such heart attacks and diabetes.

As if obesity is caused by fast foods and junk food or can be prevented by making such more expensive. How many of us have craved a snack, and dug in the penny jar?
It is not the quality of food, so much as the quantity.
In addition, the answers lie in education, not taxation.
Americans pay a ton of money for health insurance. Taxing them more seems to be unreasonable. For those who can least afford it would be paying according to their lifestyle.
I have taught many students about healthy eating. I tried to educate them, but failed with some of their parents. One parent told me that she couldn't afford to buy healthy food, and sent her child in with a icing covered donut, and chocolate milk. Nary a peek of fruit in the lunch.

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