The U.S. may be following the lead of Denmark and France by imposing a tax on unhealthy food and drinks. This tax that the British Medical Journal is in favor of suggests that a 20% increase may slow the rising rates of obesity and halt the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. Additional reasons for imposing the “Fat Tax” is to prevent chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer.
As I’m typing this I can’t help but think of how far off base this tax is. If the goal is to reduce the rate of obesity in our country this is definitely not the way. One of the biggest misconceptions is that everyone who is overweight eats a bunch of junk. I know first hand that this is false. The only foods and drink that I consumed today were a cup of coffee with Splenda and a Chicken Fattoush Salad with vinaigrette dressing, cucumber and bell pepper. I did not have any added sugar or anything that anyone could consider unhealthy yet I am what many would consider obese. I’m not saying that I’m innocent and that I never consume foods that are unhealthy but I can confidently say that the foods that I consume are no different than my smaller counterparts consume.
The study also suggested subsidizing the cost of healthy foods and veggies to make them more affordable which I am in favor of.
Bottom line, food is not the only factor contributing to obesity. Other factors include diseases and medication that cause weight gain, stress, negative emotions, finances, genetics, lack of sleep and social/economic issues.
I’m not making excuses but to assume that the only cause of obesity is a poor diet is quite asinine.