Here's the deal:
LONDON (Reuters) – Taxing junk food, limiting food adverts and making labels clearer could be the best way to curb rising obesity levels in countries like India and China, where increasing prosperity is creating ever heavier consumers.This study was targeted at developing economies, but I think its something the US should be taking seriously as well. I'm all for taxing ultra-processed junk foods and sugary drinks.
The average annual cost of tackling obesity with these measures could be less than $1 per head, and global experts said in a study on Thursday that emerging economies should take immediate action to reverse rising obesity rates before the problem reaches levels seen in the industrialized world.
Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) studied possible strategies to combat obesity in six emerging economies and also in England.
They found that combining prevention steps into a co-ordinated strategy would have a significant health impact.
"A multiple intervention strategy would achieve substantially larger health gains than individual programs, with better cost-effectiveness," said Michele Cecchini, an OECD health policy analyst and one of the authors of the study.
For one thing, they're like alcohol and cigarettes, not good for us, so if we insist on indulging, we should be paying taxes to offset the social costs (i.e., higher health care costs).
Second, let's face it, the government needs the money to pay off the debts we have. The day coming when this country wakes up and realizes "no new taxes" is a fantasy (probably the day China decides our credit is no longer any good). Like Greece and Ireland we're going to have our own national finacial crisis that will make the last few years seem like a cake-walk.
It's simply delusional to think we can pay off the mounting debts we have from government programs no one wants to cut or wars we feel we can't end without raising taxes somewhere. I'm against raising income taxes, and I'm somewhat opposed to a national sales tax (unless there's a corresponding reduction in the income tax), but soda and junk food taxes? I'm all over that.
Of course, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the rest of the Fox News Universe is going to scream that it's unpatriotic to tax Ho Hos and Coke. They'll scream over the airwaves and through the boob tube that somehow we're interfering with what's truly "American" by taxing food creating by huge food conglomerates which advertise on their programs (I guess the only "true Americans" are lethargic, obese couch potatoes who sit on sofas, eating Doritos and listening to the bullshit they spew).
But then again, his highness of rotundness, Rush Limbaugh, thinks you can lose weight and be healthy simply be restricting your calories and eating Twinkies. LOL!