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Monday, 23 April 2012 22:09

Would imposing High Tax on Unhealthy food help to fight Obesity?

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bariatric-weight-lossUnhealthy foods should be taxed to encourage healthy eating and halt growing obesity epidemic, a leading academic claims.

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of many chronic diseases. Increasing number of obese people around the world suggest that strict measures are needs to be taken, to control the obesity and encourage people to adopt healthy eating habits. Expert thinks that easy availability of sugary foods, fizzy drinks, and junk food is a cause of global epidemic of obesity.

To control the obesity, Dr Mike Rayner from the Oxford University; Department of Public Health, recommends increasing VAT on fizzy drinks, chocolate and even pastries to encourage healthy eating and ease obesity crisis of Britain.

However, increasing number of obese people and related health problems is burning issue of most countries health department. 
To help tackle the problem of obesity in Britian , Dr Rayner proposed a 12p tax on soft drinks, claiming it could save up to 2,000 lives a year as people switch to healthier alternatives.
He linked the proposed rise to existing taxes which are already in place on cigarettes and alcohol and said: 'We are in the grip of an obesity epidemic. We, as a nation, are eating too many calories.
“We use taxes to discourage drinking and smoking. It raises lots of money for the treasury and prevented people from dying too early. There are now lots of evidence that manipulating food prices could promote healthy eating.”
To support his claim, Dr Rayner referenced how Denmark has brought in a 'fat tax' on foods with saturated fats, saying the Scandinavian country has 'got the right idea.'' I don't care whether it's hot or cold, whether you got it from a takeaway or a shop - I'd like us to tax all unhealthy foods from butter to biscuits. And in doing so we can tackle a problem that will only keep expanding.

It has been found in earlier US study that taxing high- fat and sugary junk food is a more effective way to fight obesity than making healthy foods like fruit and vegetables more affordable.
The lead researcher psychologist Leonard Epstein and his team researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York had found in a study that hiking the price of junk food, as would happen with a so-called "sin tax," was more effective at getting the women to buy a week's shopping that was lower in overall calories than was cutting the price of the healthy food items. 
In fact, cutting the prices of healthy foods like broccoli, yoghurt, grapes, eggs and fish actually increased the overall calorie value of the foods and drinks the women put in their shopping carts suggest the US researchers.

What do you think imposing more tax on unhealthy food would help to control obesity???

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Read 43187 times Last modified on Monday, 23 April 2012 23:14


  • Comment Link Colleen Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:35 posted by Colleen

    Enough with regulations and control. Taxing "unhealthy" foods is not a good idea. Some of the problems include, who decides what is "unhealthy", how much of a tax would act as a deterrent, etc.

    American's are continually losing freedom. There are many contributors to the high rates of obesity in America,including attitudes toward food, lack of prevention mentality, and maybe even legislation.

    We are where we are at this point in time, and all we can do is educate citizens regarding the importance the responsibility of self care, and provide resources to help people where they are, rather than taking away yet more choice.

  • Comment Link Karriem Saturday, 05 May 2012 20:00 posted by Karriem

    I think this proposal to raise tax on junk and unhealthy foods would be good if it applied exclusively to the those who can afford to buy fresh healthy foods. The problem with this is that many people who eat unhealthy food do so because it is cheap and affordable. So unless this proposal includes a reduction in the price of healthy food to balance the alternatives for the poor, then it actually creates an even bigger problem. Secondly, who would be responsible for regulating this? I mean lets face it, the food industry is not concerned with health. Its main objective is profit. So typically speaking, as the trend would rise to increase food costs for unhealthy foods there is the possibility that healthy foods costs would increase as well to maximize in the profit share. Then we just have higher food costs. However, if this increase is to be pure tax to pay for health costs then there would still have to be a switch, something "cheap"and healthy to replace the dollar menu.

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