junk food tax

i read an article over the weekend in the NY Times by Mark Bittman, bringing to light an interesting concept of taxing junk food to use the money to subsidize the costs of healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables

He states,

Rather than subsidizing the production of unhealthful foods, we should turn the tables and tax things like soda, French fries, doughnuts and hyperprocessed snacks. The resulting income should be earmarked for a program that encourages a sound diet for Americans by making healthy food more affordable and widely available

yearly health care costs in our country, funding things like heart disease, diabetes and cancer are insanely high – one of the main culprits is the standard american diet… grab yourself a nice juicy burger and some fries and you can’t get anymore stereotypical all-american than that!

what do YOU think?
is this idea off the wall, or is it something our country needs to bite the bullet on?!

i agree with the statistics, our country does need to do something to create a healthier future… but i will admit, i do LOVE me-self some hot out of the greasy fryer sweet potato fries!! however, when i bite into them, i am fully aware that i’m consuming something that is not the greatest option for me – so i think i could live with the tax knowing my fruits, veggies, and healthier options would be cheaper to purchase….

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Susan on 2011/07/26 at 12:34

    I don’t think that having the government intercede (again) and apply a tax to “unhealthful foods” is the answer. People make their own choices, and there’s plenty of choices to make out there – be it healthful or unhealthful. Yes, a sound diet for Americans by making healthy food more affordable and widely available, yes, is certainly good advice. However, that’s exactly what it is, good advice.

    I think education is the solution… and more of it. I recently supported a colleague with a better understanding that her breakfast of fried eggs, bacon, cheese, hash browns, and coffee wasn’t the key to help a very serious stomach ailment heal… Boy did she fight me on that one. She later conceded that in fact, she’d adhere to a diet recommended for her situation – and much as she didn’t want to.

    Did I mention earlier, people make their own choices?

    Great Blog! Keep ’em coming.



    • Posted by Mel on 2011/07/26 at 13:44

      great input Susie! I am a huge advocate for education, particularly health education… the things I learned about in my college nutrition and wellness courses drastically changed my way of living from that point forward.

      keep the comments coming!


  2. Posted by -B on 2011/08/01 at 20:38

    I am not a fan of taxes at all. Like most Americans I think that in most cases other then for a “fair” income tax, they should be avoided all together. However the reality of it is that we do have taxes and we pretty much have to live with them. So let’s look at the taxes we do have: Income, property, sales, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, ect. All of theses taxes are related to things that we either need but can limit or are things that make us feel good. In fact all of these things that are taxed are things that make us feel good. More income, more land, more nicotine, more alcohol, more winning the lottery. So if we live in a world of paying taxes that go directly to the govt who will squander them on other ridiculous entitlements such as welfare and food stamps why wouldnt taxing something like soda which has no nutritional benefit and use the money to fund a vegetable farm be a good idea? Just a thought, not written in stone. This comment may be tax exempt, probably not though. I think it just cost me like 25 cents in taxes to use my internet. Where did that money go? Oh wait, I just tracked my quarter, it ended up going to subsidize someone purchasing a new home with a new homeowner credit!! Yay!!


  3. Tip top stuff. I’ll exepct more now.



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