The debate over junk food taxes is drawing increasing attention from both sides.
Continued debate over of the adverse health impacts of sugary drinks is coupled with heating debate over the propriety of a tax on a dietary pleasure — a pleasure some believe people have an unassailable right to partake in, but others find to be a health hazard.
((For example, there is some dispute about the impact that sodas have on obesity and the impact that a tax would have on soda consumption.)) Feel free to post additional arguments in the comments section.
The opponents and proponents of the junk food tax seem to draw vastly different conclusions about the effect of sugary drinks on national health.
It might be true that spending on sodas represents a larger portion of income for the poor. What is the policy behind exempting sodas and other junk foods from sales tax while levying a tax on other pleasures such as cigarettes, DVDs and books?
With obesity and diabetes at record levels, many public health experts believe governments should tax soda, sweets, junk food, and other unhealthy foods and drinks.
But since the biological mechanisms controlling thirst and hunger are separate, he says reducing calories by changing people’s drinking tastes – rather than chasing elusive ways to cut their eating – is a viable way of fighting fat.
(( USTRE5B843A20091210))a junk-food tax would do some good.
Here are some recent arguments from vocal advocates on both sides of the debate: The coalition has twin primary aims: 1) To promote a healthy economy and healthy lifestyles by educating Americans about smart solutions that rely upon science, economic realities and common sense; and 2) To prevent the enactment of this regressive and discriminatory tax that will not teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle, and will have no meaningful impact on child behavior or public health, but will have a negative impact on American families struggling in this economy.
(( To support their stance that the tax would have no “meaningful impact on…public health” they site a variety of studies including one from the The Mercatus Center at George Mason University that Americans Against Food Taxes says finds “that any impact of a soft drink tax would be trivial because soft drink consumption is a relatively small part of the diet for overweight people.” Further, they suggest that the financial impact of the tax could be excessively burdensome, particularly on the poor.