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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tax Junk Food to Fight Obesity?

Must of us have heard the startling statistics on obesity; nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. But it's especially troubling to consider that nearly 18 percent of adolescents in the U.S. are obese, according to a recent article. Unfortunately, that will mean rising rates of chronic illness for many of these young people.

The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council recently offered a number of suggestions to curb childhood obesity, and among them was increasing taxes on sugary drinks. While this approach is sure to be controversial, it's hard to deny that many of the cheapest food options are also the unhealthiest. An eye-opening article published recently in Time magazine sheds light on the hidden cost of cheap food, both to our bodies and to the environment.

Some experts argue that taxes on cigarettes have discouraged their use, so why not soft drinks? Is this Big Brother watching over us, or is it a reasonable measure to encourage healthy choices? I'd love to hear what you think.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

Interesting idea, I would much rather regular soda from schools instead.

Targeting regular sodas only doesn't quite seem fair. What about any other products with high amounts of sugar or high frutose corn surup?

Now if we eliminated the tarriffs on sugar and started taxing all added sugar and high fructose corn surup maybe we would have a better plan.