Amazon.com Widgets

Would imposing a high tax on fast foods and other unhealthy foods help combat obesity issues in the U.S.?

  • Yes

    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.

  • Higher taxes on fast food and unhealthy foods would help combat obesity because in this country money is the biggest motivator.

    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.

    Posted by: BrianDj
  • I support a tax on unhealthy foods because I believe that "junk food" and the fast food industry in particular are largely responsible for the growing obesity problem in the US, especially child obesity.

    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."

    Posted by: Shim2free
  • Sin taxes already exist on unhealthy items; it can be extended to unhealthy food.

    "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.

    Posted by: RaymoCanyons
  • Yes, taxing fast food and similar food products would create additional incentive for consumers to eat healthier. But it would also penalize some poor people.

    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.

    Posted by: M4I4cFeIine
  • Yes, a high tax on unhealthy foods would make them more expensive, deterring people from eating them and becoming obese.

    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.

    Posted by: TigerDeII
  • Yes because ...

    Lower the price of healthier foods. Raise the price of unhealthy foods. The money from the tax can go to the farmers to pay for the healthy food that has been lowered. This evens out the price so farmers will get their fair share. People will realise that the healthier food is cheaper and hopefully realise it is better for them.

  • Obesity is not the only issue.

    It is not only obesity we must look out for. Fast food could be thought of as an apple, a banana, anything...The question is WHY do you think of fast food as the leading option for low income meals? How are companies allowed to supply what they do? Not only should these foods pay more, they should be required to offset the negative impacts by supplying non gmo, affordable options by law. Secondly, the Farm Bill incentives to commodity farmers over small scale fruit and vegetable farmers ought to be reconsidered. There's much more to my argument, but I'll save it for further conversation.

  • I agree by imposing a higher tax of fast food because our economy cannot handle any more expenses for daily life.

    The people is going to buy what it is cheap. If you put the price of a pizza at 10$ and a steak at 5$, people will start to by a steak. Why do people buy pizza, ice cream or sandwich? Because it is cheaper and they can buy more and more of that products!

  • Fast foods place a great threat on the health of modern day civilians

    Taxes being raised on fast food is a policy which should be implemented immediately. Currently, it is no longer economic to live on greens and healthy foods, but one can easily be sustained on junk due to the cheap prices paid for them. In fact, it may even seem today, that taxes are put in a store duty free. Healthy foods should be made more affordable while increasing fast food price rates.

  • I think the people saying yes only see the side of because people are obese. They're not thinking of the other people who are fit/skinny.

    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.

  • Ridiculous

    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.

  • There should not be a tax on unhealthy foods because it could have a negative economic impact.

    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!

  • Unfair Tax

    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.

  • Uh uh no way

    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 is bad.

    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.

    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.

  • Poor people would not be able to afford it

    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.

  • There are other issues.

    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.

  • I oppose imposing a higher tax of fast food because our economy cannot handle any more expenses for daily life.

    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.

    Posted by: Ch4ddMc

Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
Anonymous says2013-02-25T16:20:39.407
say something about the economy please!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous says2013-02-28T11:49:27.453
Hi!
I'm doing a debate about putting a tax on junk food, and my team and I are on the negative side (so we're obviously against this decision, and that there should not be a tax). My part of the debate is that: Obesity is a Complex Problem. In other words, there should, and are many other ways to tackle this problem, by not of course adding a tax to junk food. I'm a bit stuck on what points and other solutions can be made for this problem. I mean like, not things like TV shows for losing weight, health and weight loss programs, because in my opinion, only a few obese people will be motivated, but some are still lazy, and will find it difficult just getting off the living room couch. But, I mean something that hasn't been already thought about, that you think may actually work. Please don't think that I'm lazy because I can't think of my own options, it's my first time debating and I AM STUCK! grrr.
But please help, it would really help out.
Thanks :D
Also I am Australian, not American, but there really is no difference, seeing that we are both the leading countries of obesity in the world.