Fat Tax

Should there be a tax on fatty foods?

Fat Tax

Yes because... No because...

People need an incentive to eat more healthy food and avoid unhealthy fats. This will improve people...

People need an incentive to eat more healthy food and avoid unhealthy fats. This will improve people’s health. In a paper published last year in the British Medical Journal, Tom Marshall, a professor at the University of Birmingham, said that taxing fatty foods would prevent hundreds of premature deaths each year, and cut the incidence of heart disease by about 10 per cent.

Regardless of the decisions that politicians make on taxation, taxes alone cannot begin to address the larger problems - health-related, social and economic. Health is at least as much about exercise as it is about diet and there is a wider problem with life style that is being recognised by the broader population. Most primary students now get less than one hour of PE weekly, and in many high schools the course is optional.

Fat Tax

Yes because... No because...

Fat causes severe medical problems. Diseases connected with being overweight such as high blood pres...

Fat causes severe medical problems. Diseases connected with being overweight such as high blood pressure, cancer, heart diseases, diabetes etc. are the cause of over 50% of deaths in the Arab world. If a fat tax is introduced, fat consumption will fall as consumers save money by buying non-fatty foods. Lower fat and fat-free foods will abound and the society will benefit. Citizens will be leaner, healthier, happier and more productive.

The National Institute of Health (USA) spent several hundred million dollars trying to demonstrate a connection between eating fat and getting heart disease and it failed. Five major studies revealed no such link.

Fat Tax

Yes because... No because...

Additional taxes on fatty food would create a disincentive to buy it. Consumers would be stimulated ...

Additional taxes on fatty food would create a disincentive to buy it. Consumers would be stimulated to buy and consume healthier 'non-taxed' food. Consumption of fatty chips, fries, burgers and steaks would go down and consumption of fruit and vegetable would rise. With more people buying healthy local bio products the country's farms and agricultural economy would prosper.

Fatty food will remain cheaper than healthy juices, vegetable, fruit and bio-food, therefore consumers won't change their eating habits. People who cannot afford lots of fresh vegetables and lean meats will still buy fatty food, even if it is more expensive than before, so the poor will be penalised financially without any dietary gain. Fast food will also remain more adequate for the fast lifestyle than slow food. Many people don’t want to eat supposedly “healthy food”. At Berkeley, food sales to students dropped 30%-50% after cafeterias were forced to limit the menu to organic 'healthy' food.

Fat Tax

Yes because... No because...

Imposing additional taxes on fatty food would be a general, state acknowledged indicator of the nega...

Imposing additional taxes on fatty food would be a general, state acknowledged indicator of the negative effects such food has. Governments by doing so would discourage their populations from eating unhealthy food; together with the debates that would take place before passing the law, this would draw people's attention to this problem. They would realise the gravity of the problem and start caring more about their lifestyle.

People already know about the negative effects of many products and they still use them because they are cheap, accessible, convenient, etc. Living in a city makes it very hard to lead a healthy lifestyle. People who don’t have the money to afford expensive sports centres stay at home and eat cheap, often fatty foods. There is also a scientifically acknowledged correlation between poverty, lack of exercise and excessive weight in children. This is described in South African research called Children of Nelson Mandela: black children are heavier than white and on average white children in do 2 hours of sports per day, blacks only 30 min.

Fat Tax

Yes because... No because...

A fat tax is very lucrative for a state. An article published in the American Journal of Public Heal...

A fat tax is very lucrative for a state. An article published in the American Journal of Public Health last year found that 17 U.S. states already have special taxes on soft drinks, candy and snack foods and estimated that these fat taxes already generate more than $1-billion (U.S.) annually. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest estimated that, countrywide, they could raise an additional $1.5-billion. Similar taxes in Canada would raise up to $250-million. The money can be spent on public awareness programs and campaigns, research, etc.

Governments have no incentive to impose additional taxes on fatty food. Different food industry lobbies oppose such tax and exercise pressures on governments. Many food-related multinational companies are big supporters of presidential campaigns in the USA and also have very important lobbies in various other countries. Money gained from such a tax would also probably be channelled into armament programs and other big-budget services instead of directly to consumers.

Fat Tax

Yes because... No because...

Being slim is desired in the society. Your physical appearance generates options and sets ones value...

Being slim is desired in the society. Your physical appearance generates options and sets ones value on the sexual market. People who take care of themselves are more efficient, healthier and happier.

Recent scientific research makes clear that some of us are biologically inclined to overeat, but that the inclination varies, depending on our environment. Slimness as the symbol of beauty is chauvinistic. In many parts of the world being fat means prosperity and fertility. The round belly implies physical stability and economic sufficiency. Promoting one particular type of body image is also dangerous; anorexia among young girls is a serious problem.

Debates > Fat Tax