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...
For a history and chronology of fat tax, see this Wikipedia post...
Wikipedia, Fat tax, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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
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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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
Yes, a threat
The high rate of obesity worldwide has resulted in increase in high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer etc.
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
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
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
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
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-
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-
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
You should care whether you or others are overweight or not-because we will ALL pay these fattening food taxes
And here is why
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...
When you consider how obesity affects everyone, a fat tax does not look like a bad idea after all
The fat tax debate would be mute if people who need to lose weight, do
There are several suggestions for reducing incidences of obesity
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 how to Losing excess weight safely lose excess pounds
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
And download your free e-book too
Here is a partial list of where a fat tax has been implememted or is being considered
According to Syracuse.com, here is a list of the fattest cities in the U.S
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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