The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

To encourage healthy eating, should higher taxes be imposed on soft drinks and junk food?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/28/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 95716
Debate Rounds (3)
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So many people buy doughnuts, ice cream, and Dr. Pepper without even thinking about it. But I believe if junk food was priced higher, people would think; "Oh, is it really worth the money? Even when things like Pepsi, Root Beer, and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream literally have NO beneficial value whatsoever? Is it really worth it?" It would get people thinking and we could probably benefit as a country and look super awesome. With healthy foods, come healthy bodies. With healthy bodies, come healthy lives, moods, and everything else. If we are all healthy, America would thrive once again.


My opponent believes we should add extra tax on junk food, in order to encourage healthy eating.

A tax is defined as “a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.”

Taxation is enacted through law. A law is defined as “the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.”

One final definition:

Extortion is defined “as the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats”.

My opponent is opposed to the individual freedom of a self-determined diet. My opponent wishes to coerce people into healthy eating habits by “encouraging” them through monetary penalty.

Not only is it an unjustified levy on consumer goods, it will ensure bitterness between social classes.

Consider, the affluent will be able to absorb the cost of the tax, but the poor (who already lack the means to afford fresh produce and whole foods) will now be denied access to “quality of life enhancing foods”, leaving them with even less food choices.

The only party that benefits is the government, through the collection of taxes.

It is not the government’s role to dictate lifestyle or diet.

Debate Round No. 1


My opponent is very knowledgeable on this topic. Clearly, It was well thought through and this is definitely a difficult argument for me to overcome.
My opponent made a very, very good point regarding this topic. However, if there were to be a higher price on junk food, I don't believe it would affect one's self - determined diet. A clear example of this point, is a fast - food restaurant. Now, I am not making this an attack on McDonalds, I'm just using to boost my point. If you watch shows such as "My 600 lb life", those people go though drive - trough's without even thinking. My entire family has also tried to diet ourselves. But when you grow up your whole life eating McDonalds, Burger King, and Dairy Queen, it becomes a mental issue; and even though you can wake up one morning and say: "I'm going to go on a diet" it's really and internal struggle that not very many people in America can handle. Now, if the government stepped in or food companies acted upon this issue, we may have a difference. There are so many healthy foods at Walmart and Meijer that cost so much when you can get many candy bars for the same price of just one item. My point is, natural and healthy foods are already expensive as it is and a lot of people struggle financially; making them more likely to buy something cheaper that may not be as good for them. So in the end, it may not have to be a tax itself, maybe it could just be healthy food companies lowering their prices so people won't be so reluctant to buy natural foods. It really depends which side of the spectrum you look at to provide an opinion or even a proposition / idea to actually do something about this.


1.> Junk food prices reflect a demand. People eat alot of it, which drives up the demand. When the junk-food companies react to the demand, by producing more product, the price drops. Price is generally higher, when the supply is limited. Niche products, like organic foods, are priced higher because their demand is low. In order to justify the overhead cost of production, the food company needs o charge more per unit sold than it's counterpart.

2.> Increasing the price of junk food through taxes will not de facto decrease the price of organic whole food. Remember, the taxes don't benefit the companies that make the food. Taxes are collected by the Government. So, a cookie and an apple may now both cost the same, but unlike the apple orchard, the cookie manufacturer has to first pay the government before it collects it's profit.

This results in the apple orchard pushing the cookie manufacturer out of buisness with the help of the Government.....which is an anathema to the free market. The government doesn't decide which business wins or loses. The consumer does. Government control over private industry is the textbook definition of Fascism.

Consider:"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners." [1]

Taxation on junk food is government influincing the free market through bully tactics. Instead of using the force of Government to push private industry around, I would suggest letting the consumer decide. If people want to start eating healthier foods, they'll do it without Uncle Sam spanking them.

Debate Round No. 2
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