The Instigator
linaguemar
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

should unhealthy foods cost extra?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,643 times Debate No: 32290
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (10)

 

linaguemar

Pro

Firs of all i would like to say that i am quite new to this website so please excuse me with my terrible debating skills...

I think it should cost extra because if it costs extra then people would stop buying unhealthy foods such as: burgers, chips, pizza's etc.. because it will be more expensive

please answer.. thank you.
RoyLatham

Con

My opponent has proposed an interesting topic. Many people support taxing or otherwise restricting foods they think are unhealthy, but I have not found anyone willing to debate the subject. I hope this debate will spark some interest the subject.

New York City's Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a law against adding salt to restaurant food, and when that failed to gain support he has tried to ban sales of large sizes of sugary drinks. http://www.nytimes.com... That's now in court, but we can still we whether food taxes or restriction would be a good idea or not.

Pro should first make a case as to why she thinks it would be a good idea. To help with that, I suggest Pro answer the following questions.

1. What makes a food bad or good?

Pro says burgers are bad. Why? If burgers are bad, are am sandwiches good? Are sugary soft drinks bad? Is fruit juice which has as much sugar as a soft drink, bad or good?

2. Who will decide what foods are good and which are bad?

The legislature has to vote to impose a tax, but will they vote on every food item?

3. Why should the government have the right to penalize or choice of what we eat?

The government cannot tax some books on the grounds that they are bad, even though some books certainly have bad ideas them. People have the right to choose what they read independent of government. Government has been booted out of the bedrooms of citizens on the grounds it is none of government's business to say what is good or bad. So why should government have the right to selectively tax food?

4. What results are claimed to be the result of taxing bad foods?

Will obesity be reduced? Will health care costs decrease? If so, why should we believe the results will be worth the effort of imposing and collecting taxes.

I will argue that the government has no right to attempt to control choice of food; that there are no bad foods, but only bad diets taken as a whole, and that ways will be found to evade every tax imposed. I will argue that making food more expensive will hurt poor people. I'll wait to the next round to make specific arguments.

For this debate, my opponent should feel free to get arguments and data from other DDO members. I don't mind if Pro copies these arguments into the debate.

I'm looking forward to a good debate.

Debate Round No. 1
linaguemar

Pro

I didn't say that fruit juice was any better than burgers I said that burgers are unhealthy.

Why are burgers unhealthy?


Burgers contain alot of saturates and other highly fatening chemichals.



Is Friut juice good for you

Yes, fruit juice contains sugar. Some think this automatically means fruit juice is not good for you. However, along with the naturally occurring sugar found in 100 percent fruit juice, you also get a nutrient dense, disease fighting treat that is naturally low in fat and sodium.

Antioxidants are another reason pure fruit juice is good for you. Antioxidants do just what they sound like they should do - help rid your body of oxidants. Oxidants are natural products of oxygen that can latch on to substances in the body, potentially causing disease. The antioxidants found in fruit juice protect your body from this kind of damage.

Vote Pro
RoyLatham

Con

There is no rule for which foods are "bad"

Pro does not tell us how anyone is supposed to decide which foods are good and which are bad, nor does Pro tell who will decide what is "bad." The problem that Pro faces is that aren't any bad foods. Unless foods are spoiled or contaminated, or unless you have a food-sensitive illness nothing is inherently bad, Health professionals state this clearly:

Registered dietitian, Kelly Stellato, a specialist in behavioral nutritional counseling, [tells people ...] there aren’t any “bad” foods, just bad portion control and timing. In other words, a donut once in a while is okay, just a donut everyday multiple times a day is not." [1. http://wp.wpi.edu...]

"There aren’t any “bad” foods in my opinion because, in moderation, there’s room for anything." -- Brierley Wright, nutrition editor at EatingWell. Brierley holds a master’s degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. [2. http://www.eatingwell.com...]

Searching dietitian with the specific quoted phrase "there aren't any bad foods" produces 1050 hits.

Hamburgers are bad for you if your diet has too many calories or two much saturated fat and you are eating giant high-fat burgers. However, even fast food restaurants have low-calorie low-fat hamburgers [see 3. http://www.health.com... and the sequenced pages]. There is no logic in taxing all hamburgers, just the bad ones. But then people may eat too many of the non-bad hamburgers.

Pro claims that the vitamins and antioxidants in fruit juice make it good. But antioxidants and vitamins don't cancel out the calories and tooth-decay problems of the sugar. If they were antidotes to the sugar, soft-drink manufacturers would be happy to add an equivalent amount of vitamins and antioxidants to Coke[tm] and Pepsi[tm]. Actually, Americans don't have a problem with vitamin shortages, so that's a waste of effort. There is precedent for this approach. It's against the law to add sugar in the process of making wine, Winemakers use concentrated Thompson seedless grape juice instead. [4. http://iv.ucdavis.edu...] It's effectively sugar.

Red wine is one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants. Does that make it good, or does the alcohol make it bad.

A health food website lists "50 seemingly foods that are actually bad for you." [5. http://www.shape.com...] They list granola, trail mix, light salad dressing, flavored fat-free yogurt, artichoke spinach dip, flavored soymilk, dried fruit, smoothies, and 42 others. Like fruit juice, many foods are good in some ways and bad in others.

Cholesterol is one property of food that is bad if you get too much of it. High cholesterol foods include: eggs, shrimp, cheese, oysters, clams, mussels, bratwurst, caviar, and liver. [6. http://www.healthaliciousness.com...] Okay, so many people won't mind omitting liver from their menus, but shrimp and clams? (Around 1900, scientists discovered that the iron in liver treated anemia. One lady was told she could live if she ate a pound of liver every day. She elected to die.)

Why do people want to eat so many burgers and pizzas? It's because they taste good. the reason they taste good is, at root, because they are highly nutritious and evolution programs us to prefer highly nutritious food. Cavemen had diets very high in animal fats [7. http://grist.org...]; they didn't live long enough to worry about arteriosclerosis. That means that no matter how determined Big Brother is to force people to eat food he deems "good," eaters will still consume food that tastes good, and that implies much of it will be n the "bad" list.

The government has no right to regulate your diet

Pro could not tell us why government had the right to regulate what we eat. It would be easier to determine what constitutes good literature, yet we would we outraged at a government attempt to put a tax on books and magazines it deems "bad." There is a fundamental right to choose what we want to read, without interference. The Supreme court has affirmed the right.

There is a long list of activities that are "bad" because they increase the chances for injury or death. There's skate boarding; motorcycle riding; sky diving; playing football, basketball, or baseball; skiing; and even bicycle riding. The argument for taxing bad foods is that they might shorten lives or cause illness. So by that logic, all risky activities ought to be taxed. The answer is that it is none of Big Brother's business which risks we freely elect to take in our own lives.

Personal risks are personal decisions, not government decisions. Just as people take the risks of sky diving in return for the benefit, many deliberately take food risks, big and small, for the benefits:

"I've long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we're talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime 'associates,' food, for me, has always been an adventure”
R13; Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly [8. http://www.goodreads.com...]

Food should not be taxed

There is no escape from the simple fact that taxing food makes it more expensive. The "bad" food Pro most wants to tax --burgers, pizza, fast food-- is the food that ordinary people and poor people most often consume. the expressed purpose is to make them too expensive for most consumers. That's regressive and grossly unfair. I think that the most likely outcome is that new bad food will arise to take the place of the designated evil food. Oriental people eat noodles instead of hamburgers because hamburgers are traditionally too expensive. Noodles (in soup) are starchy empty calories with too much salt. But if noodles start to make a move, then the food police will come in and kill them with taxes. The end result is a continual fight to make food too expensive for poor and average people.


For all these reasons, the resolution fails.
Debate Round No. 2
linaguemar

Pro

linaguemar forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

Sigh. I had hoped the new debater would be inspired to do more. My mistake.

Arguments continued.
Debate Round No. 3
linaguemar

Pro

linaguemar forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

My opponent has forfeited, leaving all my arguments unanswered. Even novice debaters should understand that a debate requires responding. It's a back-and-forth kind of thing.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I'm surprised you took con on this issue. If you cut all those food subsidies, healthy food probably would actually cost less in comparison unhealthy foods. Or atleast people would eat more moderate amounts of meat and corn byproducts and thus have a healthier diet.

I think you could take the pro side of this from a libertarian angle.
Posted by InFamous 4 years ago
InFamous
I cannot believe Pro out that comment, I would be embarrassed after that performance.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Pro, my advice for next time is begin with a shorter character limit. That will help prevent you being overwhelmed by the amount of data someone else puts into their argument.
Posted by linaguemar 4 years ago
linaguemar
vote pro!
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by utahjoker 4 years ago
utahjoker
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
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Reasons for voting decision: Did not read. FF by PRO. Would have awarded conduct anyway due to trollface avatar.
Vote Placed by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
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Reasons for voting decision: Stop it qopel.
Vote Placed by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
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Reasons for voting decision: While Con was definitely the superior debater, I definitely agree wiHealthy foods are so expensive, where a box of ho ho's is much cheaper than a health bar.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 4 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. I think Con makes a real effort to get Pro to debate by helping him define terms and essentially explaining to him how to debate. Sadly, Pro doesn't use this opportunity to learn.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
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Reasons for voting decision: Food will cost what they can charge for it, basic supply and demand. However morally speaking maybe it should cost more. Con sustained his arguments incredibly well plus making good arguements which were unchalleneged in the final two rounds. Con put good work into his sources, whereas pro had none. And conduct for forfeit.
Vote Placed by KingDebater 4 years ago
KingDebater
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Enji 4 years ago
Enji
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Reasons for voting decision: FF