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Ethics on "fat tax"

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Mitch Hawley

on 7 April 2014

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Transcript of Ethics on "fat tax"

What are the reasons for and against a fat tax?
Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and the Centers for Disease Control predict that nearly half will be obese by 2030. Obesity rates in children have more than tripled in the past three decades, to the point where the arteries of a typical obese child are as thick and stiff as that of a healthy 45-year-old.

Why on earth would we do this??

What Are The Facts?
Fat tax would make people pay social cost of unhealthy food

A tax on unhealthy foods would encourage people to choose healthier foods which lead to improved health and would help reduce related disease.

Through increasing tax on fatty foods, the government could raise substantial sums of money. They could use this revenue to offset other taxes – such as decrease the basic rate of VAT.

Also a fat tax could be equity neutral. Some may say a fat tax is regressive (takes a higher % of income from low income families), but if other regressive taxes are reduced the overall impact on equality should be unchanged.
it is difficult to know which foods deserve a fat tax. e.g. cheese has high fat content. Many foods could contribute to obesity if consumed in sufficient quantities.

Obesity is caused by more factors than just over-consumption of ‘high fat’ high sugar foods. It includes issues such as size of portions, levels of exercise and genetic factors.

Costs of obesity may be over-estimated. Obese people have lower life expectancy and so save government pension costs and health care costs in old age.

Administration costs in collecting tax from unhealthy foods
Obesity is estimated to cost the UK economy around
£6.6–7.4 billion pounds
a year. Haha pounds that's funny.
junk food tax, and France has started to tax sweetened drinks. One U.S. study that was reviewed by the Oxford students found that a 35% tax on sugary drinks, which is $0.45 per drink, would lead to a 26% decline in sales. Based on an analysis of this model they concluded that even a 20% tax would reduce obesity levels by 3.5% and would cut up to
2,700 heart disease deaths a year.

9,000 people died
prematurely before retirement age as a result of obesity.
We also lost 40,000 years of work and
30,000 deaths
in England in the same year were directly attributed to obesity.

18,000,000 working days
were lost.
Monday, April 7, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 1
What even is a fat tax?
Some more stuff...

a tax on foods or drinks considered unhealthy and whose consumption is believed to be linked to rising rates of obesity.

Ethics on "fat tax"
The number one cause of death in the us is from heart disease.
Obesity is one on the major key factors that contributes to heart disease.
In second place though is cancer. The National Cancer Institute has an average of 4.9 billion dollars for research and treatment. Heart disease kills more people and we are almost oblivious to the fact that heart disease is the greatest killer.
I am all for a tax on foods or drinks considered "unhealthy". I think it would not only be a good economic venture, but would also save lives and improve the standard of living. I honestly don't know if would work if implied, but if would could find a way i would support it.
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