Reducing obesity with tax?

As far as junk food is concerned? Yes, it could possibly work…well, that’s according to a recent Reuters article.


Researchers in the US analyzed the health and diets of 5 115 people aged 18 to 30 between 1985 and 2006. When they compared food price data during this time period, a 10% increase in cost was associated with a 7% decrease in the total number of calories consumed from soda and a 12% calorie decrease from pizza.

It’s estimated that an 18% tax on junk food like soda and pizza could reduce a person’s daily intake by 56 calories. This means a potential loss of 2kgs or 5 pounds per person per year. The rest of the article can be read here…

Like alcohol and cigarettes, taxing junk food seems to have caught the attention of many governments, including the US, Australia, and even Romania. However, the whole tax proposal isn’t all sugarcoated as one might expect. There are some people who strongly oppose the idea. American union UFCW Local 1500 is just one of the groups against the so-called fat tax.

The union represents supermarket workers and it argues that some shoppers will no doubt change purchasing habits if the ‘fat tax’ is enforced. This could ultimately impact store earnings which will eventually hurt the earnings of the employees.

The airline industry is also considering a fat tax to be imposed on overweight passengers who cannot safely fit into a single seat. Even though a recent poll on travel site Skyscanner showed that 76% of people voted in favor of the tax, the issue of ‘size discrimination’ has reared its head, intensifying the argument between both sides of aisle…so to speak.

What do you think of the fat tax – is it long overdue or blatant discrimination?

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