Published on May 19th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
‘Fat Tax’ of 20% on Junk Food Suggested To Combat Obesity
Studies have shown that financial pain is one of the greatest motivators to spur individual action for change, and a new study suggests that a “fat tax” on unhealthy food is one of the most effective ways to combat a growing obesity problem.
One of the issues that is believed to encourage obesity is the relative low cost of unhealthy foods for those who have lower incomes when compared with whole and organic foods, and oftentimes purchasing some $1 double cheeseburgers is cheaper than buying dinner ingredients and cooking at home, particularly for people who work long hours or several jobs to make ends meet.
People reliant on food stamps to get by are also often said to rely on low-nutrition staples and further, tend to more frequently live in “food deserts,” where access to fresh ingredients and produce is inhibited and residents are forced to rely on canned and shelf-stable food for much of their sustenance.
Indeed, researchers admit that a “fat tax” would be especially prohibitive to the poor, but argue that the end justifies the means, saying that “progressive health gains are expected because poor people consume less healthy food and have a higher incidence of most diet-related diseases, notably cardiovascular disease.” Denmark, Hungary and Peru are among countries who have instituted or plan to institute policies placing punitive taxes on unhealthy foods to encourage better nutrition in citizens.
The “fat tax” study was published in the medical journal BMJ.