Being fat might now actually cost you more money. This might not seem possible, but it is becoming a reality with the implementation of a Fat Tax. A Fat Tax will place a higher cost on foods that are considered to be link to obesity. The principal and function of the Fat Tax will be similar to a cigarette or alcohol tax. However, this tax on only certain foods is beginning to cause quite a stir.
The controversy involves many believing that this Fat Tax takes away from the free right that individuals have to consume whatever types of foods they choose. There are those for and against a Fat Tax, but the only way to formulate your own opinion is to take a look at the facts. Learning more about the pros and cons of the Fat Tax will help you come to an unbiased conclusion on the topic.
Pros of a Fat Tax
Not everything involving the Fat Tax is positive and not all aspects are necessarily seen as negative. In order to view the Fat Tax from a clear perspective you need to take a closer look at the pros and cons. Weighing the pros and cons of the Fat Tax against one another allows you to see the factors that matter most.
1. Making the Right People Pay
The biggest benefit of the Fat Tax will be making those that choose to eat unhealthy foods pay a price for contributing to the problem of obesity. Obesity causes the economy each year and many feel that those eating these unhealthy foods should be the one paying a higher price through a Fat Tax. The cost that the economy is paying can be linked to the treatment of diseases and adverse health conditions linked to obesity. Those contributing to the obesity problem would be the ones effected most by the Fat Tax.
2. Obese and Unemployment
Research also shows that obesity is linked to unemployment. This means that curbing the obesity problem with the Fat Tax could lead to less people trying to gain an income through unemployment. There is a social cost associated with unhealthy foods.
3. Encourages a Healthy Diet
Having a Fat Tax will help to encourage more people to adopt a healthy diet. People making smarter food decisions will lead to the reduction of diseases related to fat. It will also encourage more manufactures to make foods that are low in sugar and fat. The Fat Tax not only effects those buying the foods, but also those producing the foods. Smarter food decisions will be made by all as a result.
4. Raise Revenue
Raising the tax on foods high in sugar and fat will not stop them from being purchased altogether. Those that still want to eat these types of foods will simply pay the increased tax. This means that the government can expect an increase in revenue due to the Fat Tax.
Cons of a Fat Tax
1. What Foods Will Be Taxed?
The biggest problem with the Fat Tax involves knowing which foods deserve to be taxed at a higher rate. This is such a subjective thing that deciding the foods that should fall under the Fat Tax will not be easy. For example, cheese is a food that has a high fat content, but is not typically a food you consider to be unhealthy. There are quite a lot of foods that can be linked to obesity if they are consumed at a high rate.
2. Obesity isn’t Just Linked to Food
Another con surrounding the Fat Tax involves the belief that more than food can be linked to obesity. Many feel that exercise is also a main cause of obesity and that the Fat Tax only addresses one aspect of the obesity issue.
How Will a Fat Tax Work?
A Fat Tax is a tax that will only effect certain types of foods. This means that not all foods will come with a higher tax. Only foods that are determined to contribute to obesity will be foods that will be taxed at a higher rate. This means that the foods that will be most affected by the Fat Tax include those high in sugar and fat. For example, some of the foods that will be included in the Fat Tax include pop, chips, chocolate and other foods high in sugar and fat. All foods that are considered and labeled as unhealthy could be subject to the Fat Tax. The link between these foods and obesity is said to be the reason behind the Fat Tax.
Subjective the Fat Tax
Those that are opposed to the Fat Tax feel that it is too subject in form. This is due to the fact that all foods considered unhealthy or high in sugar can be taxed at a high rate. Some feel that this is too large a grouping of foods and beverages. Making all foods that are linked to obesity attached with a higher tax is believed to infringe of the rights of those purchasing the food. The subjective aspect of the Fat Tax is what most have the largest problem with.
Impact Fat Tax Could Have on Health
This tax was designed to help improve the health of the people. Making sugary and high in fat foods more expensive will lead to them being purchased at a lower rate. Curving obesity and improving health is said to be the goal behind the Fat Tax. Almost 34% of Americans are classified as obese, which is a rate that is only growing over time. Growing obesity has resulted in an increase in high cholesterol, diabetes and even hypertension. Some cancers have even been linked to obesity. For these reasons, the implementation of a Fat Tax is said to help improve health and assist with disease prevention. Lowering the sale of unhealthy foods is the ultimate goal of the Fat Tax. However, this does not sit well with manufacturers of unhealthy foods.
Fat Tax Could Impact Poor Most
There are those critics of the Fat Tax that feel it could impact poor people more than any other group. This is due to the fact that poor people can only afford the cheapest foods, which are often those that are the unhealthiest. This Fat Tax could increase their grocery bill substantially and make it more difficult for them to afford food. The impact that the Fat Tax could have on the poor is something that should not be swept under the rug.
Could The Fat Tax Really Make a Difference?
Early studies on the effectiveness of the Fat Tax show that it could have a big impact on health. Placing a 20% tax on simply sugary beverages could lower the obesity rate by nearly 4%. This could equate to the prevention of nearly 3,000 heart-related deaths every year. This clearly shows that the Fat Tax could result in disease prevention. Many European countries were the first to adopt the Fat Tax and other countries are following suit. The Fat Tax is said to be inevitable.