The Fat Tax

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The purpose of this paper was to research the implications of imposing a fat tax on junk food. Research was conducted on the effects it would have on obesity rates and on consumers’ food choices. Health risks associated with obesity were addressed as well as the implicated costs of treating these illnesses. Common misconceptions were addressed and alternatives were provided. Comparisons were made with similar taxes which had proven both successful and unsuccessful. It was concluded that implementing a fat tax in the U.S. would help reduce the extensive population of overweight Americans by guiding them to choose healthier foods, in turn, leading them toward a better life. Keywords: fat tax, obesity, sin tax, skinny tax, child obesity, …show more content…
has been in debate for quite some time. While California was first in the nation to implement the “fat tax”, the rest of the U.S. has not followed suit. This tax will be applied to any item containing more than 2.3% saturated fat, including dairy products such as cheese, milk, processed foods, pizza, soda, and candy. The purpose of such a tax is to deter consumers from purchasing unhealthy foods and lowering the rate of obesity. Research by Ogden, Carroll, Kit and Flegal (2014) concluded that “prevalence of obesity in the United States is high, with one-third of adults and 17% of children obese” (“Prevalence of Childhood Obesity in the United States”). The number of obese children is alarming, albeit, significant measures have been taken in schools to provide healthier meals. Unfortunately, there is little guidance when it comes to food choices at home. Fat tax on junk food will provide consumers with the guidance and encouragement needed to formulate healthier food …show more content…
We need to correct this for ourselves and for the future of our children. Other than the cost, it seems lack of time to cook plays a large part in American’s food choices. Our lives as Americans require us to juggle time, this I will not argue. However, lack of time does not justify choosing fast food filled with fat, chemicals, sugars and preservatives for ourselves and even worse, for our children. Instead of choosing a fast food drive thru, one could easily select to buy a cooked rotisserie chicken with a bag of prewashed salad and a bag of apples. Even easier, keep meal replacement bars handy and there is no drive thru line required, just peel wrapper and eat. There is always a healthy and simple alternative, yet time and time again, the fast food is the go to choice. The salads available on the menu at various fast food places are the least likely to be purchased. Rather, consumers lean toward the dollar menu items, once again proving consumers’ choices are highly influenced by prices. Applying the higher taxes to the burgers, soda and fries, may encourage consumers to select the salads. If on a tight budget, consumers might not have a choice except to opt for the salad, in turn, leading to improved

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