Nowadays people always are overweight or obese. A big reason of this is unhealthy food like a Big Mac, Hamburger etc. Too much of any of those can cause serious health problems which a lot of people of the world today suffer from. The real problem is why are people making these choices? It’s simple, unhealthy food is cheaper than healthy food in many cases. Is it a good idea to introduce a fast food tax, or do unhealthy food observe to remain cheap and free of extra tax?
To start things off, I will refer to this unhealthy food as “fast food”. One problem with fast foods is that they are low in satiation value. That is, people don’t tend to feel as full when they eat them, which can lead to overeating. Another problem is that unhealthy food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods. When people are snacking on chips and cookies, they are usually not loading up on fruits and vegetables. Already you can tell this is quite a problem, but it can be reduced to some degree if we raise the taxes on fast food.
If the taxes are increased then people will be opted to buy healthier foods such as vegetables or other nutrient rich foods without added sugar or sodium. They will no longer be more expensive than the cheap, unhealthy, fast food. This in essence, will reduce the amount of unhealthy food that people will ingest. Another point is that the extra tax on fast food will saves lives. Heart disease is the second most common cause of death. Many lives could easily be saved. As well as saving lives, reducing obesity will also improve the quality of life.
The argument against a extra tax on fast food is that those on low incomes are more likely to consume unhealthy foods, therefore this tax will increase inequality. However, if a tax on fast food saves lives, we should not avoid implementing it just because it is the poor who will mostly benefit. If we are really concerned about the impact on equality, the revenue from a fat tax can be targeted to the benefit of the poor. A increase in inequality need not occur from a fast food tax. Who is the government to tell people what to eat?
If we want to eat salty and fatty foods then let us eat this. The whole point is people are still free to consume as much salty and fatty foods as they like. All in all it can be said that it is an unfair tax because fast food is bad for people who suffer obesity, shouldn’t mean that everyone who enjoys the quick, cheap service fast food offers. People who are in a hurry or people short on cash may find fast food an ideal service, but if it is taxed due to obesity, then it will also affect people who aren’t obese.