Summary Of Taxing Junk Food

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In the article “Taxing Junk Food to Counter Obesity” (2013) by Caroline Franck, Sonia Gandhi, and Mark Eisenberg, the authors explains the different proposals that have been made in order to combat obesity and the health epidemic in the United States. Franck discusses the positive and negative aspects of a junk food tax as well as other variations of the tax in different countries. Throughout the article, the authors clearly argue that a junk food tax would have many complications as this is a controversial topic in America. As the obesity epidemic in the US continues to grow, experts have suggested that lawmakers should implement a tax on junk food. Countries such as France and Hungary have tried to implement a tax on items that are deemed …show more content…
One of the food category taxes that have been proposed, according to the authors, is the tax on food that is considered “snack food”. The increase in the consumption of snack food has been one of the main causes of an increase in calorie intake according to different research. A snack tax, according to experts, is legislatively feasible and can have an impact on consumer consumption. However, studies have shown that the tax alone wouldn’t be enough to address the increasing obesity epidemic. Snack foods are hard to categorize accurately and it might point consumers to the incorrect solution. The other category food tax that has been already implemented by different countries is the sugar-sweetened beverage which is a massive contributor to the obesity epidemic. These types of beverages have increased the amount of calorie intake of adults and adolescents substantially. The reduction of the intake of these drinks would help reduce obesity as well as other health problems. A small beverage tax would also give the government a substantial amount of revenue that would increase over time. Both taxes would be beneficial to the government as well as the consumer, but these proposals are still surrounded by …show more content…
The authors shed light on the impact this kind of tax could have on low income families as studies have shown they consume more unhealthy food than high income population. The key fact to consider is that food is a necessity of live and humans cannot exist without it which can make the tax seem unethical. A different interpretation of this epidemic is the belief that the fault lies on the consumer and the company isn’t responsible for their choices. A grand number of government officials and companies believe there needs to be an increase in the education of people on what they are consuming. Many consumers also believe that the government cannot infringe their personal right to consume any kind of food they want. This has lead to poor nutrition choices and has caused the obesity epidemic to arise in the first place. According to the authors, marketing is also partly to blame for this epidemic due to their failure to expose the many of the health risks in the food they are selling. With these different proposals and effects in mind, a junk food tax isn’t the most effective solution to combat obesity in America. While the tax might have some effect on the health epidemic, the authors clearly show there needs to be a greater sense of urgency in order to fully resolve the health crisis that is

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