The "fat" tax

New York governor David Patterson wants to introduce an obesity tax. No, he does not want to tax people who are fat or overweight. He proposes to levy a higher tax on sugared beverages like soda. More accurately, on non-diet sugared drinks that have 70% or less fruit juice content. Revenue earned from these taxes will fund more obesity and health research. While the article expresses the governor’s points of view solely, he does make a few interesting points. First, when taxes were increased on cigarettes, it did drop in sales and there has been a considerable decrease in lung cancer occurrences. Secondly, if we take into account a study that showed additional 12-ounce soft drink daily consumption increases the risk of a child becoming obese by 60 percent (and the same for adults as well).
States such as New Jersey and California have already implemented steps on sodas and sweet foods. If I am not wrong, then NJ bans the use of sodas and sweets in schools for kids to eat. Increasing the taxes on such items, I feel, can indeed curb people from buying them as much. While this proposal is primarily driven towards childhood obesity, it will, to a certain extent have a positive effect in reducing adult obesity as well!
The world is vastly adopting a sedentary lifestyle. Though the life expectancy has increased tremendously over the decades, that is misleading as a sign of healthiness – because advances in medicine have caused the increase. People in olden days used to die of sickness and that was medicine has eradicated. Today, the story is different. While people have started living longer, they have stopped living healthily long back. Unfortunately it’s a lifestyle choice that leads to this, and all the government can really do is make people realize what they are doing wrong.

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4 Responses to “The "fat" tax”
  1. Delphian Oracle says:


    i didnt read the whole post, i will do that though soon enough. Just dropped in to say HI, hope you doin good 🙂

  2. Deepika says:


  3. Certainly a wise decision..
    Simply Ridiculous´s latest post – Touched By His Noodly Appendage!!

  4. Jim Tressor says:

    I don’t think a fat tax is very practical – there are several things wrong with Pigouvian taxes in general. They are hard to calculate because it is impossible to determine the exact amount of externality caused, in this case by obesity, and they affect different people in different ways! Here is an article about why a fat tax wouldn’t work:

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