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Can “Fat Taxes” Keep Us Healthy?

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Can “Fat Taxes” Keep Us Healthy?

Governments around the world are implementing or considering “fat taxes.”

Denmark and Hungary have already passed legislation to put levies on products considered to be unhealthy (i.e. foods containing high amounts of sugar, salt, and fat). This money is then funneled into health care.

Canada is interested. New York State has tried to tax junk foods – particularly soft drinks.

7 Reasons Governments Want Us to Decrease Soft Drink Intake:

  1. Americans drink such LARGE quantities of soft drinks that they represent a significant percentage of our daily calorie intake. (The average is three quarts per week.)
  2. This part of our diet therefore contains no needed nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, or essential fatty acids). Pop is just water, chemical flavors, additives, and usually, sugar.
  3. The sugar makes you fat and contributes to diabetes and other degenerative diseases.
  4. Even diet colas have been shown in studies to cause weight gain. You would think that taking in all these liquids would reduce your consumption of other junk foods but studies have shown that they actually INCREASE it.
  5. Cola intake has also been associated with increased risk of bone fracture in children, and bone de-mineralization in adolescent girls.
  6. Colas have been shown to reduce calcification and increase osteoporosis in adults.
  7. The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research looked at huge amounts of research and advises: “limit consumption of energy-dense foods” and “avoid sugary drinks.”
coke on check out stand

This is not a display but a picture taken in a grocery store at the checkout. It is just a fraction of what was in his cart!

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


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1:17AM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

I think it sounds like a good idea. It probably won't deter many people from continuing to buy junk food, but it would be nice if they could put the money raised by the tax towards something useful. Healthcare or health education in schools, something like that.

6:48PM PDT on Sep 25, 2011

Bring it on!

2:51AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

I think a fat tax should definitely be implemented - I'm tired of paying for other people's healthcare when they can't take care of themselves at all and have given themselves diabetes and heart disease. If people wish to make the choice to be unhealthy, they should have to pay for it so that other people don't have to!

2:09PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

This tax won't prevent people from buying "fat drinks and foods". It's just another way to take our money from us. Then we won't even be able to afford healthy food and drinks.

1:52PM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

.......sure go ahead........and the taxes on cigarettes worked well.....last time I looked people were still buying cigarettes at, what, $8 a pack........

8:35AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

TAX AND REGULATE WATER CONSUMPTION! People have overdosed from drinking it, we need to keep a better eye on people drinking too much water!

7:17AM PDT on Aug 31, 2011

I say tax the heck out of sodas, junk food, etc. I never drink soda since tea is such a better alternative. Junk food just isn't on my list. I don't think a fat tax would ever be approved here . First of all, the big junk food corporations like Burger King, etc. would use their "$$$ power" to prevent it. Secondly, Americans, in general, are just not very health oriented. Just take a look around you at our overweight population. It's simply disgusting to see all that jingling fat everywhere. This tax is more likely to fly in Europe where people are more open minded with alternative medicine, progressive renewable energy useage, small cars, etc. We have along way to go to catch up with Europe.

4:36PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

soda is just terrible

7:41PM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

I hvae been saying this for years.

12:27PM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

I don't like to drink sugary drinks myself, but there are people who will anyway even with a tax. I think if less people do buy them they could force the people who make them to make some alternatives.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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