Junk food. Do any of us know the meaning of the term? Do the consequences of developing lethal diseases not concern us? Apparently, today’s society is well aware of what it is, (food with a low nutrition value and is usually processed or ready-prepared (Junk Food)) and what it can do, yet they prefer not to have truth repeatedly slapped in their face by the media. The way I see it, that’s exactly what these individuals are asking for. They say diets are productive, but it’s based off of self-encouragement which can only take you so far. According to an article composed by William Dietz, Obesity is a matter of personal responsibility. Poor dietary decisions cost individuals the expansion of their waist lines. What many do not realize is that as they continue to visit fast food restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, they develop an addiction. Sooner or later, they find themselves wrapped around junk food’s salty fingers and haven’t bothered to notice that they no longer can see their toes standing upright. Higher taxes should be imposed on processed goods because it could lower death rates and medical bills that tie into obesity, encourage the consumption of healthy products, and educate American’s about adapting correct eating habits.
Americans today are consuming 20% more calories than they did in the early 1980’s,” (“Would Imposing…” par. 3). Also, during that time period, only one third of American’s populace were identified as obese which is equivalent to 13%. However, over the past 25 years, America has exceeded to about 60% of the population being fat (Oliver par. 8). Due to the continuous establishments of fast food restaurants, Americans have noticed that their waist lines have expanded substantially. Hundreds of years ago, McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, and Burger King were non-existant. With McDonald’s Big Mac meal containing approximately 1,300 calories, it’s no wonder America has been suffering an obesity epidemic. It’s because of these successful companies that we have to pay for the over flowing stacks of health expenses they’ve created for us. Comparing Americans then with Americans now, you could literally see the difference without the need of any statistical information from surveys, documents, and whatnot.
One of the many reasons why the government is taking this “fat tax” into consideration is due to the overwhelming figures of premature deaths and medical bills occuring across the nation. According to studies, officials are hoping that taxation on junk food could “…avert 2,600 deaths, 9,600 heart attacks, 240,000 new cases of diabetes every year,” (Chan par. 2). That’s not the end of it. These numbers are ascending as I we carry on with our normal daily lives. For all I know, 2013’s statistics for premature deaths due to obesity could escalate to 3,500! Almost every year, America’s government is burdened by the stunning $117 million in debt they have to pay because of people becoming diagnosed with multiple heart diseases thanks to the consumption of fast food.
With that being said, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) informed the public that too much of today’s society relies on the cheap and convenient take outs our restaurants provide us. They encounter at least 400,000 individuals with health problems, charging them almost $100 million a year (Lewis par. 4). For this reason, it is why unhealthy grubs are purchased regularly. If people were to choose between a $2 cheeseburger and a $10 salad wrap, what are the chances of them picking the $10 salad wrap? That’s what I thought. It’s disappointing knowing that profits made from fast foods are used to assist our nation’s debt. Why can’t the money derive from potent nourishments?
Why do we allow the selling of unsalutary meals, knowing we are feeding them death munchies? In Addition, America has judgement skills that are completely frail and incompetent. Here we are placing exorbitant prices on healthy products when it should be the life-threatening comestibles that should be prohibited. A hand full of officials in the country have required several fast food restaurants to display “calorie-count labels” to drive individuals’ taste buds from convenience food. But even that won’t prevent obesity (Mozes par. 7). Nevertheless, even a simple a simple label couldn’t stop the hungry beasts of America from gobbling down chunks of blubber.
Due to these astonishing numbers, Americans are looking towards taxing junk food similarly to “sin taxes”. It’s a tax on harmful items (such as alcohol, tobacco, etc.) that could reduce its consumption. Officials have been pushing for states to insitute a “fat tax” and consider it as a “sin tax”. According to several smokers in New York, they discovered that paying a total of $14.50 for one pack of cigarette wasn’t worth their money. Some of them knew that complaining wouldn’t get them anywhere, so they eventually “ditched the dependency” (Sutherland par. 2). With the assistance of this sin tax, “smoking rates dropped by 12%,” (“Would Imposing…par. 3). This specifically proves to opponents that bomming junk food tariffs can depreciate premature death percentages and medical expenses as well.
Obviously, pricey items attract less customers nowadays; so the higher the taxes, the lower the consumption. Plus, our government could distribute these taxes to health services and programs that illustrate the essence of corpulence. Also, whether the populace continues to ignore the government’s warning through tariffs, either way the tariff generated …$30 million in new revenue, tax records show. Basically if fast food customers wish to pursue their daily routine visiting McDonald’s, it’ll still bring the economy extra dough to support the country. Even if our main focus is to sever society’s tongue from higher cholestrol levels, we can only succor those who wish for assistance.
Moreover, authorizing taxes on fast foods could subsidize the nutritional products that actually supply our physiques with the appropriate energy it naturally pines for. Knowing that the “…poorest in the country rely on cheap junk food,” (Lewis par. 5), automatically discloses that this necessitates more natural resources. However, in America it’s vise-versa. The more nutrition an item contains, the more you have to pay. With higher taxes on junk food, there would be no need for the federal to tax our fruits and vegetables. Society will eventually quit their whining and chase cheaper alternatives.
Representatives throughout the country have “…calculated that an 18% tax on junk food would result in a 56-calorie decline in total daily intake…along with significant reductions in the risks of most obesity-related chronic diseases,” (Fiore par. 12). Doctors have stressed that the recommended calorie consumed should be in the range of 2,000 calories. By the looks of it, American’s today are exceeding these limits. And they wonder why they are experiencing strokes, heart attacks, and becoming diagnosed with diabetes.
Lastly, more health education could influence the population’s mindset about the need to eat sugary items. Media has played a huge role in advertising greasy items. Instead, we could use this strategy to discourage our customers from purchasing fast foods, stressing our concerns of obesity. Our targets would be the same audience that was exposed to fattening commercials. Raising awareness within our communities, and then our country is what the U.S. lacks today. It has been said that “You are what you eat,” but are any of us aware of exactly what we are putting in our mouths? They may display what supplies make that particular meal, but do they show how much butter they use to cook steaks?
Apparently, the “U.S. Department of Agriculture says hamburgers have been growing from 1 ounce in 1957 to 6 ounces in 1997,” (Oliver par. 11). If 1997 was sixteen years ago, just imagine how hefty burgers are today? Notifying our customers about junk food should be our leaders’ priority. “It would be irresponsible not to try everything we can to save lives…People are dying everyday due to sugary products,” (Bloomberg qtd. in Heaton par. 5). I couldn’t agree more with Mayor Bloomberg of New York. He is probably the only official that wants to institute a fat tax to give back to the people he represents. American’s are self-centered, and their main focus is money. No one cares if they’re putting one’s life in jeoparady by creating harmful grubs. If one was to take a stand against these fast food companies, it’ll have to start with our leaders.
On the other hand, controversies have made society equivocal about the implementation of taxation on packaged foods. As expected, citizens of America claim that the government is becoming too controling, and their freedom of choice is being stripped from them. While our officials’ intensions are to perpetuate the corpulence widespread, others feel provoked because they believe the government is trying to dictate their intellect (Lewis par. 3). Our leaders stress that taking care of the well-being of our internal organs should be our priority. However, the public refuses admit to the valuable advice they articulate. Many feel as if they were to say, Who are you to tell me what I can eat and not eat? It’s only fair that the people have the last say. After all, this country was established fighting For the people, by the people… (Star Spangled Banner).
On top of that, as stated in an article by Jen Kalaidis, tax also costs [the] country an estimated 1,300 jobs because employees would no longer be needed in food retail sectors. Although an collection of occupations would be lost, many tend to give in and develop the mindset of a pessimistic. As Alexander Graham Bell, (an eminent scientist, engineer, innovator, etc.), proclaimed, When one door closes, another door opens. The message he speaks of is about preserverence and circulating nothing but positive thought within your mind.
American’s who fear losing their jobs should realize that plantation fields and factories will demand more and more employees once the fat tax is instituted. The fields will require more man power for labor work, and for manufacturing purposes as well. You will soon after notice that grocery markets will have job oppertunites. It’s actually a ripple effect, and once the economy is back to the way it was before the nation debt came about, the unemployement will be no more.
Therefore, it is essential to communicate the outweighing benefits of a fat tax to the public now, before America begins to hit a downfall in the next five years. Junk food should not be outlawed, nor should it be cheap. If American’s want to continue this portliness evolvement, they can expect to see excessive aftermath in death rates. These unhealthy eats are about to rebuild our country’s values soon enough. However, with the assistance of this Twinkie Tax, I believe we could expect a tangible decline in America’s death progression and health expenses, a promotion of organic products, as well as more programs raising awareness of corpulence.
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