Would you be opposed to a "fat tax" (junk food...not people)?

The Netherlands is imposing a "fat tax" on fatty foods to encourage people to consume less junk...think it would be great for society if they did this while lowering the price of fruits and vegetables in the meantime...what do you think? Or we could tax the hell out of companies producing that stuff in the first place! Yay or nay? I'm all for it!


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I'm all for it. I personally wouldn't mind seeing 90% of the sugary garbage on the store shelves marketed towards kids getting bounced as well.

    Over the years, many companies decided "Let's cut costs by cutting corners! Pack everything with corn syrup, fat, and sodium so it tastes great and costs less!"

    More quality products on the shelves means more people living healthier no matter what. Also, it gives those obese parents one less excuse to raise their kids on Happy Meals.

    Like CJ said, there would have to be a definitive line or companies would fight tooth and nail to not get the short end of the stick (or God Forbid, they have to start making LEGIT products). It really comes down to who has the money. The big shot merchandising companies usually have a hand in the pocket of politicians making righteous bills like this impossible to pass.

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What Guys Said 12

  • Sure, but you want to be careful about what you label 'junk food'.

    For instance Kettle Chips are certainly potato chips (a traditional junk food), but they are made with premium Oregon potatoes (some of the finest in the world) and have no artificial ingredients. They taste really good and I've been eating them for years with zero ill effects. In short, I love 'em and would be most displeased to see their prices raised.

    On the other hand I wouldn't want to eat a whole bag of Cheetos or Lay's every week for a year. They're too salty, too many artificial flavors, they just aren't as beneficial. So, taxing stuff that is demonstrably bad for you in order to subsidize local farmers sounds fair, but just be careful not to punish legitimate businesses who sell good honest products.

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    • Yes definitely some distinctions will be easier than others...darn those gray areas! Good for you for treating your body well! lol

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    • Lol all good things in moderation! Unfortunately people have no brakes and need leashed?!?!

      I still love my Cheetos. I just rarely eat them :))

    • anyway I guess the Dutch are more or less OK with this new fat tax. I'm not sure how well it would go over in the US or Canada though.

  • the problem is that in the US fresh meats and produce are ridiculously expensive compared to process junk food, so even if such a tax was put in place it would STILL be cheaper than eating healthy.

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    • You think? Wish we could show more support to local farmers...they have a hard time competing against all the corporations...

  • I'm all for this. These foods cause more damage to people than cigarettes nowadays.

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  • The problem is that they won't reduce the price on vegetables and other low-fat / healthy food. Besides, in times of economical crisis this won't be a smart move, a lot of fastfood-restaurants will go bankrupt... job oppurtunities will be lost, people will get fired and so on.

    It's another one of those useless things they're thinking about and spending money / time on while they should be spending it on the economy and other more pressing matters...

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    • I see you're from the Netherlands! So how do others around you feel about this? But at the same time employers will be better off because their employees will be more productive...less health issues/abseentism for example...might be difficult in short term but would surely have long term benefits! No?

    • Long term yes, but they've also made other long term changes which take time... we need short term changes and we need them now when talking about the economy... but I think that's a worldwide problem lol. I haven't really discussed it with people around me. But as far as the people I know go, most of them are pretty healthy I think...

      I do think something like a tax is a good idea, but then again, so are better cooking classes starting in mid school. Because let's face it, people can't cook:P

    • Sounds good chef! lol

  • It's influencing people what to eat. It would also punish those who eat fatty foods that are still in control of their health and condition.

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    • True but I think it would have more benefits than negative outcomes...

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    • Yes education is important...but more so for the younger generation...maybe increased regulation will help the older crowd set in their ways...but thanks!

    • We all know how the older generation can be :)

  • Ok, but since we're addressing these problems, lets institute a 1000% tax on alcohol since it destroys livers when abused. Lets add a tax on cars because WHEN ABUSED they cause accidents and kill people. Better also tax any type of radiation since it can cause cancer. F*** it, tax cancer too.

    See how stupid this becomes? Taxing the problem doesn't fix it, it just gives the gov't a bigger budget to waste on stupid sh*t. The real key to fixing problems is proactive education.

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    • I know where you're coming from, but you have to start somewhere...if you have the attitude of oh well you have to tax x and y, then society won't change for the better...Isn't it better to take small steps and get somewhere? I mean smoking used to be so common...see where it is now? People made rules about not smoking in certain public locations and that had a significant impact...I'm sure people were skeptical at the time but look where we are now because of it...

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    • Its my money, that's why it matters. And no, services never get better, because the government never does any of them right. Give me ONE example of a well run government program. Just one.

      And the exact problem you mentioned with alcohol, could happen with food. Jobs lost, companies gone, revenue killed. And the purpose of taxation never has good intentions, its always about revenue when it comes to our government. They see opportunity, not solution. Hence, why tobacco isn't outlawed.

    • Props on being civil peeps! =p

  • The fat tax ignores a lot of realities about food and what kind of foods have fat and what nutrition they give. That's why I don't support the fat tax but rather sugar tax. That's what will actually target the problem.

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  • Yay government can use that money to fund exercise programs.

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  • Yes. Why would you want to take food? Food and medications are the only things that are tax free in most states because you need them to survive. People that live on the very bottom, many times have to eat the crappies foods (junk foods), just to get their daily calories. You should never tax food.

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  • I wouldn't mind it that's a pretty unique and cool idea. People that really want junk food will still pay and it would make it easier to get fruits and vegtables if it cost less.

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  • sure, I'm tired of fatasses running around here and I think The States especially would benefit from such a tax.

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  • Not every one is obese, it's not my fault that a family buys junk food for their kids, and it's not the company's fault either, they don't say you have to buy our food, no one is being forced to eat those kinds of foods. Why should I be punished because I like to eat a bag of chips every now and then, but keep in shape, while they don't give a crap about their bodies? If your fat it is because you made yourself fat, no company made you fat, you bought the product and it made you fat that's your problem.

    I don't want a govt that can tell me what I can and can't eat, plus if they do tax bad foods, it won't solve a damn thing. Cigarettes have a high tax on them, and does that stop people from buying them nope, and that price keeps going up, if people like something they will continue to buy it.

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    • It doesn't necessarily stop them...but might encourage them to think twice. I understand that you take care of yourself and would like to enjoy a treat every now and then, but some of the individuals in society might not be as well aware as u...it's our job to help them make better choices so they can benefit themselves and the rest of us as well with increased efficiency at work for example...

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    • Therefore they increase the price of care and insurance rates on the rest of us. In nations with public hospitals, these people would account for a fair share of public spending in the health sector.

      Not to mention that heavy people use more resources to live, more fossil fuels and take up more space. In a world where ones choices affect anothers choices we have no choice but as a nation to make sure ones choices can't affect anothers and have no impact on other peoples lifestyles.

    • So taxing food means more expensive prices for everything and everyone, so the side effect of this is no more resturants, no more factories that produce food, and since everyone must suffer from this that means no more jobs, and further ourselves into this recession, ya that sounds like a great idea.

      You talk about fat people abusing the heath system how about smokes, drug addicts, your right the plan must be to get rid of all the fat ppl.

What Girls Said 6

  • "Or we could tax the hell out of companies producing the stuff in the first place" Haha Amen to that... I think it's just another scam to get more taxes.. That's like creating a car tax.. "everyone who drives a car we are gonna tax you!" BUT at the same time it would motivate people to lose weight.. but the problem is super obese people are gonna have to pay taxes for a couple more years because the weight won't come off like a piece of cake.. But I actually am starting to think this will be a good idea... To the greedy tax collectors this is their biggest dream come true, but for the health of America and other places this is our dream come true aka getting healthier for ourselves :D and people we care about

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    • lol! Thanks girl! We need more people that are excited about this kinda stuff! =)

  • I think people should learn to give themselves time to prepare good food. American's tend to get "too busy" and prioritize towards work over food. Then make boxed things.

    I think if people took more time to cook, they'd be a lot more aware of what they're eating and change their habbits.

    Also- I've found vegetables to be cheaper than processed food. You just have to know where to buy them (aka farmer's markets. Glorious places)

    Its more a matter of a change in mentality. It'd have to be a redicously steep tax to the point where companies would be forced to change their production focus because consumers can't afford them, and thus they aren't making profit anymore.

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    • Good point! Yes I think home cooked meals are definitely a good first step!

  • i hate how people try to blame every other factor but the people themselves. Its not the food, but the PEOPLE eating the food. Fatty foods are OK to eat, just not in large amounts. IF PEOPLE WOULD LEARN TO STOP EATING SO MUCH OF IT, THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A NEED FOR OUTRAGEOUS IDEAS LIKE TAXES. Everyone is missing the point here... I'm overweight myself and I know that the reason is because I choose to eat unhealthy foods and do not excercise regularly, but you don't see me blaming other things when it really comes down to me. We should each take responsibility here, then things would start to get better. By the way I'm now on a diet and getting excercise. lost about 30 pounds over two months so I'm correcting it.

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    • Congrats on your successes. I understand your frustration but, unfortunately, there are too many people that haven't made the connection between healthy versus nonhealthy...or they don't have the funds to buy healthier things...I don't believe we should allow the companies to be blameless...why produce CRAP? Why can't they care about people and make better products? The kid/adult eating 20 cookies should exercise self-restraint but why do the companies use fancy advertising to target them?

    • They producce crap because its cheap and tastes good to people. All companies are looking to do is make money. Honestly, they don't care if it makes everyone as big as elephants lol. That's just the way it is in the world. They use advertising because they already know that the people eating 20 cookies are addicted and will go out and buy their product. Business is business.

    • Yeah it sucks...

  • Sure, we tax alcohol and tobacco. Obesity related diseases kill more people a year than tobacco even before they bagan taxing it. I predicted that this was coming a long time ago! We should also tax soft and energy drinks.

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  • I'm down for that! The biggest issue why people are fat in America is because the junk food is cheaper than the vegetables.

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  • No. that's stupid

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