The federal government needs to stop paying attention to all the food lobbyists and do what is right for the American people. Cheap fast food and many unhealthy foods that contain unhealthy products are subsidized by the gov't. The government needs to make healthy fruits and vegetables cheaper so that the average American can afford to spend their money purchasing real food instead of food that will ultimately lead them to obesity and a life on medication.
As the old saying goes, "Money Talks." In a country based on capitalism, where every cent counts, loss of said cents is usually the biggest motivator to encourage changes in living habits. Losing weight because someone wants to be healthier and have a healthier lifestyle is not much of a motivator in this day in age where over-excess and greed is almost a staple in our society.
I think that the tax dollars gleaned from an "unhealthy food tax" should go towards paying for health care. It is useless for fast food and "junk food" companies to claim that they do not target children in their advertising. Children learn their eating habits early in life. Making fast food and junk food less appealing to parents by adding a tax on to the prices would be a step towards forcing them to think about what they are teaching their children about the value of food. It is actually very sad that we devalue any food in this country enough that we call it "junk."
"Sin tax" is already widely applied to many substances, such as alcohol and tobacco. Food containing absolutely no nutritional value, or food that is quantifiably unhealthy, should also be subject to these taxes. By making the unhealthy food more expensive, healthy food will be cheaper in comparison, which would result in more people choosing more healthy food options.
Taxes do seem to affect consumer behavior. Witness the decline of smokers as a proportion of the population over the past few decades, from a prevalence of about 45 percent to perhaps 20 or 25 percent today (a great public health victory). There seems to be little question, furthermore, that fast food, based on fat, poor nutritional content, and other factors, carries risks that can contribute to obesity and other chronic health problems. But those consumers who continue to purchase fast food, out of habit, preference, or convenience (insofar as fast food producers do not offer many healthier alternatives), will be penalized, and many of these consumers are poor. This option should therefore not be ruled out, but it should not be the only policy option on the table, nor should it be implemented in a cavalier fashion.
I think that Americans eat a lot of fast food and unhealthy food because it is so cheap and convenient. If it were more expensive, they would probably eat out less and cook healthier meals at home. This would definitely reduce obesity issues. So it's a good idea to impose a high tax on such foods.
A few people on the opposing side are pointing out that it wouldn't be fair to them because they are already skinny and the food doesn't effect their appearance. What they are failing to recognize is that even though it's not adding on actual weight to their bodies, it slowly damaging their internal organs slowly. It slowly adds fat to your heart. Kudos for having a fast metabolism. Taxing fast food is one thing that should be in affect, another is lowing the prices of healthy foods and regular groceries. People being better educated about how important home cooked meals actually are would be beneficial. I understand it is a obvious right that we should be able to eat whatever we please. But the corporations and industries alone should also not be processing such harmful and toxic food, then advertise them to us in such a manipulating way. We have been slowly fed the idea that fast food "isn't that bad". Of course there are other ways to go about winging people off fast foods, but taxing it is just one way that could possibly be beneficial. And, either way the government is taking taxes from us either way.
Regardless of the tax money going to useful places, we need some type of restriction on unhealthy foods or else obesity, diseases, and illnesses will never change only increase. This will bring a sense of reality to what people really consume and offer better healthier choices. Fast food or junk food is more conveniently available, yes, but that's just the problem. Because its so easy to purchase it, people will always simply decide on whats quick and easy. Its not a matter of peoples rights. Its a matter of peoples needs!!!
I know eating a lot of junk food does not mean you have to be obese but junk food can make you unhealthy. You should eat a balance so not too many sweets and not too many fats. These are the reasons there should be high taxes on unhealthy food.
Many people who don't have money buy what food they can. Most people can buy unhealthy foods, because they are cheaper than unhealthy foods., but if there is a time where a tax like this happens then we should make healthy foods less expensive so people with a low salary income can buy the healthier foods.
I'm doing a debate on this exact topic, and I'm on the negative side, which means I am obviously against this decision, although I do think that this is a fairly complicated topic.
Firstly, our freedom of choice as the public is being taken away. It is up to ourselves to decide, basically up to the decision as an individual of society. Obesity and being overweight is indeed part of genetics, and others may not be able to control themselves with junk food compared to others. I don't know about over there in America, but I live in Australia, and whenever we pay for ANYTHING, we have this thing called GST. It's basically tax, 10% of the total added to the original amount of whatever we buy. So if we do go with this thing, it's really unfair because we kind of are already paying for tax for junk food, and I completely find this unreasonable. We will then be paying DOUBLE tax for junk food of all things. Anyone else think this is stupid?
Not only this, but I strongly believe that the prevention of obesity can be tackled in other, more reasonable options. Don't ask what, because I'm still coming up with some and it's my first time debating. EVER.
Maybe more constant advertisement campaigns which are kind of 'scaring' the obese into getting fit. I know this sounds mean, but again here in Australia, we have some pretty major commercials on smoking, drink driving and not putting your seat-belt on. And I must admit it is VERY scary. They will explain how in very clear detail how you can die, or trying to kill yourself. Same thing with eating basically.
How fair is that for people like me who eat junk regularly and are naturally skinny? No! Not everyone becomes obese because of junk food. I have friends who eat quite a lot of junk everyday just like me and are stick thin. I've seen pudgy people eating only "healthy" foods. The food Nazis better calm the heck down... Gosh I'm scared for this country.
Are you serious, people? Yes, okay, it may help, but you can't predict this. The higher the price the fewer buyers will be, and more money will be wasted on stupid government!
How do you know that the extra money (tax) will be put to good use? Governments say, "We will have the tax to help in creating more roads and houses." How do you know it will not just be sent to the government for things we don't need?
Will this tax make obese people stay away from these stores? No! It's a little tax. The question is, will it do anything? I don't think so. But if it does, this may make buyers and customers say, 'No more junk food, it's just too expensive." Do you realize that this could effect stores like this, and eventually the stores may have to close? People could lose jobs or not earn as much money as they did before this stupid tax. So let's leave it to you to make your own decisions!
Just because junk food is bad for people who suffer obesity, shouldn't mean that everyone who enjoys the quick, cheap service fast food offers. People who are always in a hurry, or people short on cash may find fast food an ideal service, but if it is taxed due to obesity, then it will also affect people who aren't obese.
People choose to eat fast food, nobody's holding a gun to their heads and saying, you have to eat this every day. And what about the occasional eaters? Who only eat fast food once in a blue moon as an occasional treat? Being a thin teenager myself, I have a lot of friends who eat junk food and are still really thin too. It's just stupid to put a tax on it
It would be bad because nobody wants it to be more expensive and stuff and then everyone will be sad and unhappy and no one will love you and you may become depressed and/or commit suicide ending in bad things for everyone so just don't do it please thanes for the support.
No, putting a higher tax on fast foods and other unhealthy foods would not help the country-wide obesity issues. The problem with putting a tax on fast food items is that there is too much to take into account, such as the amount of calories in the rest of the diet, how often fast food is consumed and how frequently they eat this type of food. Plus, putting a high tax rate on fast food items would not only take part in hurting the economy, it would only affect the light eaters. This tax will most likely not affect the people who already eat fast food too often and are overweight. They already realize that this food is not good for them.
The junk food tax is really just a tax on the poor. If someone goes to eat lunch, let’s say there are 2 options: a $1 cheeseburger from McDonalds, or a $3 salad. If the proposed tax is to be put into place, let’s say they add $1 to the price of the cheeseburger, and then take that dollar and reduce the price of the salad. This would make both options cost the same: $2. The people who are proposing this tax are the people that go to the store with $4 or $5 to spend, and can afford either at either price. But what about the poor people, who have only $1 or $1.50 to spend on lunch? They walk in and see that they could afford a cheeseburger. This is what they buy, because they cannot afford a $3 salad. If the prices change so both options cost $2, the poor person who walks into the store with $1 to spend will not be able to eat anything at all, regardless of the nutritional value. They now have 2 options. They could: A) Starve because they can no longer afford food prices, or B) they can steal, which will land them in jail. Neither of these are beneficial, so neither is the tax.
The homeless rate within Australia is through the roof, yet here we are arguing over junk food. This is ridiculous. Stop using tax like it’s a weapon. Why would you charge more for bad foods when you could lower the price of healthy foods to make them way more appealing.
The unemployment rate is at an average of 10% nation wide, and I do not think that eating healthier should be put above eating at all for those that are on limited incomes.