Author Topic: Junk food tax  (Read 4388 times)

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Offline Avan

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Junk food tax
« on: September 09, 2009, 12:05:30 am »
Apparently, there's an idea floating around (probably limited to california, just my luck), and it's a junk food tax.
The idea behind it is to charge a rather big tax for junk foods, to decrease purchases of them to decrease obesity.

Ok, so we get (theoretically) lowered obesity rates and a nice chunk of change to help our floundering state budget.

However, this is a rather interesting subject. A little over half of californians polled said they were in favor of it, but that's still nearly break-even.

So would you support this? Why or why not?

Personally, I wouldn't support this, since I'm simply pre-disposed to having a high metabolism, and I often have rather sugary things to fuel it. Thus I'd be charged a whole lot of money, but I'm not obese or anything: I don't need a weight decrease, I need a weight increase! (hence my workouts to build muscle mass).
Plus, it's not like taxing smoking, where non-smokers can find the smell of tobacco smoke to be unpleasant and unhealthful (thus they are being harmed/affected negatively), or taxing alcohol, where some people don't appreciate having drunks wandering around (once again, they are being harmed/affected negatively), but having a rotund guy enjoying a bigmac a couple restraunts down the street isn't going to ruin your day. Sure they might be harming their own body, but then again, it is themselves, and we don't really have a right to force them to stop when its not affecting the rest of us in the least. Especially when others (like myself) get hit in the fallout as well.
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Offline Yip

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 12:28:52 am »
I think taxing junk food to fight obesity is a bad idea. A tax shouldn't be added to anything with the express purpose of manipulating the people. Laws are for manipulating the people. Taxes should be to cover costs incurred by things.

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2009, 03:08:17 am »
*Grumbles* Had a good reply written up and was previewing, but my system decided to lock up just as I was about to post it. Long story short, I agree with Vararam, I think it's more about $$$ than health as politicians seek out another cash cow instead of reigning in on their spending, and you'd have sympathy from truckers in that respect. Moo...
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Offline Arbutus

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 11:09:05 pm »
This is
1) one of the most unfairly regressive taxes you could come up with
2) none of the state's business

I would say more, but am too tired to really think.

Offline Kobuk

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 11:20:35 pm »
Quote
This is
1) one of the most unfairly regressive taxes you could come up with
2) none of the state's business

Ditto. ;)  Taxing junk food is not going to curb/stop obesity. Only eating healthy, dieting, and regular exercise will do that. ;)
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Offline WhiteShepherd

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 01:55:38 am »

  It doesn't cover the main issues.  For example "corn syrup" also plays a huge role in American obesity.
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Offline Sskessa

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 01:37:45 pm »
I don't think this will discourage people from buying unhealthy. People eat what they eat out of habit, and junk food isn't even cheap to begin with if you compare it to, say, rice and beans. Like Narei said, it's just an excuse for politicians to get more funding for God knows what.

I would, however, be in favor of something like cooking classes as a mandatory option in high schools. We teach kids how to read and write, but not how to feed themselves, which is something you have to do three times a day, every day, for the rest of your life. I think this could help fight poverty, too. For instance, I just learned last year that I can make a loaf of bread for 30 cents, and it's easy and better than any bread at the grocery store.
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 01:46:54 pm »
I'm for trying to promote a healthy life style, but I think teaching someone to cook and instilling healthy responsibilities in them is a matter for parents, not schools. Schools are to educate your brain so you can be successful in the work place, and there's already not enough hours in a day for what we're teaching them as it is, IMHO. I could see something like that being an elective, perhaps as a prep class for culinary arts even.
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Offline Sskessa

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 02:19:12 pm »
Oh, I meant as an elective for the students, but required that all high schools offer that elective.

Yeah, I also think it should be a job for the parents but...parents aren't really doing it well, are they? How many responses did we have in that thread "Who can't use an oven" or whatever it was? If a person's parents can't cook, where else can he or she get that information from?
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Offline RedneckFur

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 06:47:44 pm »
Its none of the goverments buisness what I eat, or do not eat.  This is just an example of the goverment thinking that we're stupid and thinking that it should protect us from our own bad decisions.

Now, if we took goverment healthcare to the extreme, could the goverment then regulate what foods you could and couldnt eat, since it was acting with your good health in mind?

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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 07:32:48 pm »
Maybe we should do what the fictional city/state did in the movie Demolition Man: Ban everything that wasn't good for us.  :P
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2009, 08:02:01 pm »
Oh, I meant as an elective for the students, but required that all high schools offer that elective.

Ah, gotcha. :)
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Offline Draconium

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 07:04:32 pm »
The government should have no business in making food choices for us. Obesity does not obey taxes, it only obeys biological cues.

And the solution to government debt is to curb spending, not raise/create taxes.

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Offline Yip

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2009, 03:44:12 am »
In all seriousness, if Demolition Man became a reality I would immediately become an outlaw or get out, immediately.
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Offline Skazwolf

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 08:07:33 pm »
I'd rather they stop subsidizing it first.

Offline Avan

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2009, 07:07:15 pm »
 :o
Not sure about the validity of this, but I heard that obama MIGHT be in favor of taxing soda. NOT sure yet however.
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Offline Sskessa

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2009, 05:25:06 pm »
I was thinking about my post earlier, about high schools offering cooking classes, and I decided it wouldn't be a good idea. Schools already have too much to worry about.

I still think education is the best way to change people's eating habits. Banning or taxing maybe might discourage eating certain foods, but what will people replace the junk food with?
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Offline Acton

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2009, 07:05:35 pm »
I am obese by definition and limit my junkfood intake. There are more factor in obesity that eating a dohnut.
Thisis just a money grab because one is taxing the  obease and the heathy.

Offline CiceroKit

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2009, 12:33:12 pm »
Taxing junk food would be like any other vice tax... it is an easy way to pay for programs during a time of economic hardship. Will it curb obesity? No. Lowering the price of health foods could, but inflating the price of junk food isn't likely to. Say a bill passed that placed a higher tax on fast food. I would bet you two to one that a Big Mac would still cost less then a bell pepper from the grocery store.

I can't say that I am really for or against this tax. I am indifferent. It may be a good way to pay for certain things after all, and it is something that has so little impact on me personally.

I can't think about this proposed tax without thinking about the vice tax on tobacco. My mother is someone who was furious at the heavy taxation of tobacco, calling it a middle class tax and going so far as to say that smoking is her only enjoyment in life and that for the legislators she in fact voted for to try and take it away from her was classist. I could see her point, although I am only saddened that she sees smoking as her greatest source of enjoyment in life. Has she smoked any less due to the taxation? No. She has rolled her own cigarettes at times.

Point is, taxation doesn't encourage healthy lifestyle choices. Heck, even when you tell a person if they keep doing this they will have a heart attack or stroke doesn't curb them from making the same unhealthy choices.

Obesity is not solely the product of unhealthy food choices. So many people work in sedentary conditions and lead fairly sedentary lifestyles outside of work, and that is a big component. For a few, very few people, obesity is the result of other health conditions. But the prevalence of junk food cannot be ignored.

Okay, so people will hate me for this next comment... but why don't we exclude certain junk food options from being considered food and simply tax them as we would other sale items (in states such as Wisconsin where it is illegal to tax groceries) and exclude them from being commodities that people can pay for with food stamps? This wouldn't be a junk food tax, it would simply be a way of declassifying the items as food. If something has zero nutritional value, why should it be considered food anyway?
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Offline Avan

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Re: Junk food tax
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2009, 08:47:32 pm »
Groceries in cali are still taxed as any regular purchase...  :P

/edited for overly-sleepy-typo fail
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