PHI 210 Critical Thinking
To Encourage Healthy Eating, Higher Taxes Should Be Imposed On Soft Drinks and Junk Foods
In this situation, given the massive public health toll obesity takes on this country every year, it is time to dedicate more resources to fighting the epidemic and a national tax on such food items could be needed money for public health efforts or even to subsidize the costs of fruits and vegetables. While Americans' waistlines are increasing the fast food, soda, snack food and candy industries pour billions into their advertising campaigns. How can the federal program that encourages fruit and vegetable consumption with its $1 million media budget possibly compete with the $1 billion McDonald's spends on advertising? If we tax the food that is making Americans fatter, the government can start fighting back.
On the contrary, it is not the role of the government to legislate what people eat by taxing "bad" food. It is impossible to pinpoint a few food items and blame them for an individual's obesity when diets are comprised of hundreds or thousands of foods. Food choices are based on taste, not price, and a one-cent tax on a candy bar is not going to dissuade anyone from eating it. In addition, the fat tax unfairly burdens the poor, who on average consume more food of low nutritive value than wealthier Americans are No one is talking about taxing other high fat or unhealthy foods.
According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Center for Science in the Public Interest; Snack Foods Association
* 300,000 people a year die from obesity-related health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
* Currently, 17 states and the District of Columbia levy taxes on soft drinks, candy, and other foods of low nutritional value.
* The National Cancer Institute spends $1... [continues]
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