I've been seeing some discussions coming up as to what measures to take about unhealthy food. The United States has been getting a lot of it, and more recently NYC made headlines when the Mayor decided to ban sugary drinks exceeding 16 oz, which brought up debate over what role the government should have in that and whether individuals should have this choice left up to them. There were some proposals by some groups to have taxes assessed based on a food's fat or sugar content (more recently, Denmark cancelled its "fat tax" and cancelled plans for a "sugar tax").
In the US and I'm sure everywhere else weight is becoming a topic of concern in the current and next generations, what do you think about measures like the above to try and discourage consumption of unhealthy foods through taxes or banning certain items?
I don't believe it's the government's business to live anyone's life for them. And I don't believe they'd live it in what they perceived to be your best interests anyway if given that power.
If you've got a national health service you just prioritise treatment in terms of expected returns: Fat people generally have more health problems and shorter lives than normal people. So, there's less to be gained in spending the same amount of money on them. So, they go to the bottom of the priority pile, along with drug addicts and the like.
If you don't have a national health service I don't see that it much matters - they've got to pay for their own fat arse.
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Yeah, Denmark today accounced that they will remove the fat tax they've had for year. It pretty much had no effect on what people eat, and was criticized for making food more expensive and endangering Danish food industry jobs.
We've also had higher taxes for candy and limonade too, but I don't think it has had much of an effect. Just makes kids use more of their parents' money. And heh, they started selling some candies as cookies to avoid the tax.
There's already a problem with food price in many countries and that kind of regulation makes it only worse. It's okay to try to remove trans fats for example, but being overweight comes down to dumb parents.
I don't support a nanny state.
Last edited by Rikupsoni; November 10th, 2012 at 04:59 PM.
Really, the only thing they should be doing is making the food companies put out nutrition labels and let people decide for themselves.
It's kind of like the president of Carl's Jr. said, "We have plenty of healthy foods, people just don't order them."
And I'm by no means saying fuck health foods, I'm just saying don't use negative reinforcement when it comes to getting them to eat it or be healthy in general, because they will only resist if they weren't health nuts before.
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Last edited by Adrian Ţepeş; November 10th, 2012 at 04:56 PM.
If a government provides you free medical services, then yes, it does also get some authority over what you eat because it would affect your health and then proceed to greater health services expenses.
If it doesn't provide you free medical services [or cheap medical insurance] then it doesn't have any right to pull taxes on your food just due to its health effects.
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In the United States? No. Nations with nationalized healthcare? Probably a case could be made. However, I think the same case could be made in the United States for the health insurance companies to offer incentives for better eating habits like they do for smoking cessation. I'd be okay with something like that if we actually had choice in our "private" health system.
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