The fat tax controversy has generated heated passions on all sides

Would you support a fat tax on overweight people?

Or would it be alright if this tax is levied on everyone

So what are the risks of obesity?

Well, here are some-but not, all of them...

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  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Cancer
  • Brain impairement
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea that can lead to fatigue
  • Stress
  • According to Journal of Fertility and Sterility, overweight young men have lower sperm quality than their fit peers. What's more, obesity is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction
  • Social isolation etc., etc.

Join the fat tax discussion at this people's opinion forum and have your say on this controversial topic

For a history and chronology of fat tax, see this Wikipedia post...
Wikipedia, Fat tax, (as of Aug. 26, 2012, 18:58 GMT).

What is the idea of this tax anyway?

And if you are NOT fat, would you willingly pay this tax or would you resent it?

But in case you think that this is a hypothetical or academic question, this tax is being levied around the world

Denmark, for instance taxes foods with saturated fat content higher than 2.3% at a higher rate

This approach to encourage-some say blackmail-overweight people to lose weight is catching on in other countries- certainly in the U.S

It's scary to think that the U.S with 6% of the world's population is responsible for 34% of, if its weight due to obesity

Contrast that with Asia with 61% of the world's population but with 13% of the world's extra weight!!

We are so fat today it's like having extra 242 million people of average weight
Think about what it takes to feed and provide resources for extra 242 million people

You have to compete with extra 242 million people for resources. World resources are already strained as it is

Competition for resources is at the roots of a lot of wars and social upheavals

This is why a lot of people are not bothered by the controversy because they are convinced they are on the right path

But would you believe we've all been paying this tax all this time-we just didn't realize it

I'll prove that fact later...BUT

Should governments tax fat people or should they just live with the implications?

Obesity is regarded as resulting from personal resposibility-or lack of it.

As such, some people-and there are lots of them-feel that obese people should pay for their lack of discipline

The idea is not to punish fat people-and advocates of a obesity tax do not regard it as punishment, in fact they regard this as doing fat people a favor-but to offer incentives to fat people to exercise more discipline

If being fat is made very expensive, then fat people would see it's in their own interest to lose weight

You want to be fat, fine. But you will have to pay for your gluttony

And when this campaing is successful, the controversy would be mute anyway

At least, so goes the reasoning behind this fat tax

What do you think?

Maybe you're thinking to yourself: I am fit and slim, I don't care if they tax fat people from here to the moon


Well, consider this...

Here is a report from the British Medical Journal in its June 18 2012 publication: It stated that "...population fatness could have the same implications for world food demands as an extra half a billion people living on earth"

If that does not scare you, you should pinch yourself to make sure you're still alive

But it's not just food supply that would be strained

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How about

  1. Transportation
  2. Medical care
  3. Jobs
  4. Housing
  5. Access to clean water
  6. Pollution and stress on the environment
  7. The social and political instabilities that can result from competition for ever dimnishing resources

But here is an encouraging report, also from the British Medical Journal's May issue...

Imposing a fat tax on unhealhy foods and drinks could help stem the obesity rate. A 20% tax on these unhealthy foods we are told could lower the rate of obesity by 3-5%.

This translates to saving about 2,700 people from death from heart attacks alone each year. Obesity is now a global threat

A threat?

Yes, a threat

The high rate of obesity worldwide has resulted in increase in high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc.

  • According to the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 34% of Americans are obese
  • And a report from the Punjabi province of Pakistan says that 50% of the police force is overweight

    Which caused the chief to lay down the law-for his officers, that is: any officer whose girth is over 38 inches risks losing his/her job

  • And in Rawalpindi, the rate of obesity among police officers is even worse-a whopping 77%!
  • The U.S military has to dismiss close to 12,000 recruits-each year, because these slugs cannot meet basic physical fitness requirements!!

In light of all these, there should be no fat tax controversy at all-after all, it's good health we are talking about

Among the recommendations for stemming this tide is for governments to subsidize healthy foods

A lot of people think this is more practical and dignified than imposing a fat tax-that would impact a group of people disproportionately

As things are today, governments would rather subsidize tobacco than potato

Fat tax going viral

The fat tax debate, precipitated by Denmark fat tax is not about to end any time soon

In fact that debate is just starting....

Because apart from Denmark, there is a nation wide effort in the U.S to impose higher taxes on any food that's suspected of contributing to ill health-especially, sugared drinks

As a matter of fact, this government action IS already implemented in some countries and gaining support in others

  • There is a proposal in Cambridge, Massachussett, for downsizing soda sizes in restaurants {as of 2012} noting that soda consumption is a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, especailly for young people
  • In case you think this is wrong headed, such a ban is in force in New York city. That ordnance limits to 16oz any sugared drink of more than 25 calories per 8oz, served in restaurants.

Noting the success of the stiff tax on cigarettes-the number of smokers had dropped dramatically since the imposition of higher taxes-authorities are hoping for the same results in the case of people who need to lose weight

By making it costly to be, and stay overweight, the hope is that this will at least encourage people to make healthy choices

Here is a problem though.....

Are fatty foods the only foods that get people fat?

And if it is not, why not impose this fat tax on these other foods-a kind of general food tax that cover all these other foods that are unhealthy

Junk food tax debate

Here is an idea of food tax: How about a high junk food tax? This way people who indulge in them would have to pay more and may be they'll eat them less often

If people eat these foods less often, then maybe the obesity rate would go down

But this fat tax should go a little further

The manufacturers and sellers of these junk foods should be made to pay higher junk food taxes too

Are you for or against?

There are fat tax pros and cons that people like to advance in this debate

But do these arguments hold water? Let's take a look

Some argue that this is another case of governments gone wild-

  • An unneccessary government intrusion into private life

  • Invasion of privacy
  • An interference in the exercising of personal choices
  • A way to condition people for more control of the private lives of citizens People have not forgotten the herbal directives of 2005 in the European Union

Here is how people on the other side of the fat tax debate counter these arguements

If you really believe government should stay out of peoples' private lives, then you should object to-

  1. Government mandating cleanliness of the water that's delivered to your house
  2. The regulations that require automobiles to be manufactured to standards that makes it likey for you to survive an accident
  3. Goverment regulations that mandate the safety of foods in supermarkets
  4. Government subsidized medical care
  5. You can see that the government staying totally out of peoples' lives will be disastrous

    The task then is to balance personal liberties with government's responsibilties to people without the risk of tyranny

    So why should the average person care about this fat tax?

    You should care whether you or others are overweight or not-because we will ALL pay these fattening food taxes

    And here is why

    1. Because of the higher costs of treating obesity and its complications, we will all be paying higher insurance premiums
    2. Airlines peg the average weight of each passenger at 170lb. An aircraft has a maximum take-off weight it must not exceed for safety reasons

      Airlines would like to charge overweight people higher fares depending on their degree of obesity-to make up for the money they'll lose by carrying fewer passengers. This is what the airlines would like the govenment to approve. If this is denied...

    3. Airlines will find a way to levy this fat tax anyway-except, we will all be paying.
    4. Taxing fat people higher taxes may not seem fair, but the fact is, we are all going to pay.
    5. Obese people consume more resources, to the detriment of others who have to make do with less
    6. Lost industrial productivity because of the medical complications of obesity

    7. You might have to cover for these people on your day off-when it's inconvenient for you

    When you consider how obesity affects everyone, a fat tax does not look like a bad idea after all

    How to make the fat tax debate mute

    The fat tax debate would be mute if people who need to lose weight, do

    There are several suggestions for reducing incidences of obesity

    1. Subsidize healthy foods-fruits, vegetables
    2. Tax junk food at a higher rate
    3. Restrict junk food advertising
    4. Tax foods with high sugar, salt and fat contents at higher rates

    These simple steps, according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, could prevent 100,000 deaths from strokes and heart attacks every year

    Whichever side you are on the fat tax discussion, there is no denying the fact that being overweight is unhealthy

    The only point of contention is Losing excess weight safely

    What is your idea of stemming the obesity explosion?

    AND if you or your loved one need to lose weight, then you need to click this link for information on effective body transformation

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    Here is a partial list of where a fat tax has been implememted or is being considered

    • New York
    • Cambridge, Massachussets
    • Great Britain-the Bitish prime minister says the country may consider a fat tax to combat its own obesity crisis
    • And of course, Denmark
    • Several hundreds of countries, states, counties, cities around the world

    According to, here is a list of the fattest cities in the U.S

    1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
    2. Binghamton, New York
    3. Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio
    4. Rockford, Illinois
    5. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
    6. Charleston, West Virginia
    7. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida
    8. Topeka, Kansas
    9. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, Washington
    10. Reading, Pennsylvania

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    Latest News

    The fat controversy rages on-OR does it?

    But it might to have to go on without Denmark

    The patron saint of fat tax, Denmark, now says imposing fat taxes on fattening foods is not a good idea, after all

    Check out this report on the folly of a policy of food police

    You would remember that Denmark was the first nation to impose comprehensive taxes on foods with saturated fat content higher than 2.3%

    This inspired other nations, states, counties and cities all over the world, to start considering Denmark's approach as a model

    From New York to Cambridge, Massachusets, fat taxes had been imposed, or are being considered

    Even the British prime minister, David Cameron, weighed in on the fat tax debate

    Now the patron saint of government mandate of personal behavior says-not so fast

    So, what now for all the other apostles of this gospel?

    What now for fat people?

    Overweight people can now breathe easy and make a renewed effort to lose weight

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