Fat Tax Myth: Taxing Junk Food

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Anthony Leach Period 3 11/11/12 “Fat tax” Myth: taxing junk foods imposes a nanny state on individuals and punishes those who consume junk food in moderation. Taxing junk foods will decrease consumption of unhealthy foods and decrease obesity rates. The obesity rate for adults was 15% in 1980. The number has doubled since then says the centers for disease control and prevention. More than 2/3 of adults over 20 are either overweight or obese. Nowadays there is some kind of fast food on the corner of every major intersection. Everyday 75 million Americans eat at a fast food restaurant. Statistics say that 40% of American meals are now bought and consumed outside the home, typically consisting of high-calorie, low-nutrition items such as…show more content…
After decades of lies and industry propaganda, the truth is finally coming out: junk food kills. Even after the effort of some states to tax soda pop, require healthier school lunches, or mandate calorie information in chain restaurants, obesity rates are still growing. Studies have shown that school organic gardens, salad bars and healthy lunches improve the health and academic performance of young people. Healthy eating habits and gardening skills nurtured and developed at an early age most often have a lifetime impact. A 100% tax on junk food and beverages would help pay for the collateral damages of this industry: the $150 billion in diet-related disease and health-care costs now incurred by the public and taxpayers for obesity and diabetes. Chicago laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off. The results come from the first large national look at the effectiveness of the state laws over time. The results are minor but “what are the downsides of improving the food environment for children today?” asked Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Children Hospital. “You can’t get much worse than what it already…show more content…
Their heights and weights were measured in spring 2004, when they were finishing fifth grade and soon to enter middle school, and in 2007, during the spring of eighth grade. The researchers also examined several databases of state laws on school nutrition during the same time. The states were not identified in the study because of database license restrictions that protect the students' confidentiality, the authors said. The laws governed food and drinks sold in public school vending machines and school stores, outside of mealtime. Laws were considered strong if they included specific nutrition requirements, such as limits on sugar and fats. Laws were rated weak if the requirements were vague and merely urged sales of "healthy" food without specifics. The results show that for these laws to be effective, they need to be consistently strong in all grades, said lead author Daniel Taber, a health policy researcher at the University of Illinois at

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