Poll: Should Junk Foods Be Taxed to Help Reduce Obesity Risks, Costs?

Governments have long taxed alcohol and tobacco to limit damage. Time for fat, sugar?

After the surgeon-general declared smoking dangerous to your health, steep taxes helped bring down U.S. cigarette use.  Now comes the latest report on obesity, which suggests that 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030. The forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “32 million more people could be obese in 2030—adding $550 billion in health spending over that time span,” according to an Associated Press report. Is it time to slap extra taxes on foods high in sugar or saturated fat?  Or should education and the marketplace handle what some call a public health crisis?

Things I Learned May 09, 2012 at 05:37 PM
No se puede. http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/public-global-health/226303-doctors-call-on-obama-to-stop-eating-junk-food-in-public
Jenny Peckham May 09, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I disagree with the main premise. I don't believe that the reason that governments have long taxed alcohol and tobacco is to limit damage. I believe that they have been taxing them merely to generate revenue. I'm curious to know whether or not drinking or smoking went down as taxes were added. I do not know the answer to this, but I have witnessed many poor people drink to excess and smoke profusely, regardless of the cost. I strongly believe that education would be much more effective with regard to food choices, and health issues in general.
Libi Uremovic May 09, 2012 at 08:47 PM
taxes should be collected based on the cost and burden on society.....i think processed foods should be taxed to pay for the health care costs they incur .... look at our police report.....1/2 the calls are booze related....booze should have an additional tax to cover the 'costs' of booze on our community....the tax on booze is a fraction of the additional on tobacco.... why should i pay for your poor choices...?? but you're right...they want an additional tax on tobacco to cover research, not costs associated with the product...we've got enough research on tobacco...it's the wrong time...
John Hutchinson May 10, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Fat,sugar,salt,cupcakes.....and soon to be on the government's hit list ....OREOS!!!Its time to hit the 'reset' button,grow a spine,eliminate whatever govt. agency came up with this idea...& to continue that concept...eliminate the govt. lemonade stand swat teams !!
LT May 10, 2012 at 09:12 PM
yes, governments tax them just for the money, most of the revenue collected goes to the general fund or is earmarked for programs other then alcohol or tobacco prevention. what's ironic though is that in many circumstances studies have shown that increasing taxes on tobacco has actually decreased the total amount of tax revenues the states that collect them receive overall. more people quit smoking, thus they stop paying the tax and those who do continue to smoke are more likely to simply buy cigarettes in a neighboring state or online where they can avoid paying the steeper taxes. time and time again states have proposed raising taxes on tobacco estimating large tax revenues only to implement those taxes and find the revenue they generate from them is a small fraction of what they expected to raise and often less then they were generating before the tax increase.


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