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Do you think junk food should be taxed?

Forcing sales of junk food down through taxes isn’t ideal. First off, we’ll have to listen to nanny-state arguments, which can be countered by the acceptance of the anti-tobacco movement as well as a dozen other successful public health measures. Then there are the predictions of job loss at soda distributorships, but the same predictions were made about the tobacco industry, and those were wrong. (For that matter, the same predictions were made around the nickel deposit on bottles, which most shoppers don’t even notice.) Ultimately, however, both consumers and government will be more than reimbursed in the form of cheaper healthy staples, lowered health care costs and better health. And that’s a big deal.

One promising strategy, already adopted by seven states, has been to try and deter consumers from purchasing unhealthy foods through a tax on soda or sugary drinks and junk food (Lohman, 2002).

Tax Junk Foods Raise the Driving Age ..

Taxes on junk food.

Additionally, this tax might hurt those in areas with little access to fresh produce and whole grains, such as in low-income urban areas; therefore the “junk food tax” would only work if healthy food choices are made not only affordable but easily available to low-income consumers through the use of subsidies (Marsh, 2011).

But the Navajo Nation is taking a novel and aggressive approach to reduce its incredibly high rate of dietary disease: a 2 percent tax on all junk food within the 27,400-square-mile reservation.

Arguments For and Against Junk Food and Soda Taxes

The debate over junk food taxes is drawing increasing attention from ..

Some advocates for the poor say taxes like these are unfair because low-income people pay a higher percentage of their income for food and would find it more difficult to buy soda or junk. But since poor people suffer disproportionately from the cost of high-quality, fresh foods, subsidizing those foods would be particularly beneficial to them.

The main problem with banning ads is how to classify junk food, but once the junk food lobbyists have been beaten down, the system is simple. Taxing junk foods is more complicated. A at the end of 2015 by the Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution investigated the proposal.

(Junk Food Tax Could Improve Health).
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We Should Tax Junk Food And Stop Advertising It To Kids ..

Currently, instead of taxing sodas and other unhealthful food, we subsidize them (with, I might note, tax dollars!). Direct subsidies to farmers for crops like corn (used, for example, to make now-ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup) and soybeans (vegetable oil) keep the prices of many unhealthful foods and beverages artificially low. There are indirect subsidies as well, because prices of junk foods don’t reflect the costs of repairing our health and the environment.

Taxing junk foods is more complicated.

Even if we decide to tax junk food, what part exactly do you tax? “Taxing sugary drinks based on their volume,” says the report, “does nothing to encourage businesses to reduce the sugar content of their products.”

Services believes that taxing junk food and sugary beverages is ..

The potential upsides of taxes are big, though. If applied smartly, taxes might reduce the intake of junk food, with the side effect of making junk food healthier. Food manufacturers won’t let their sales drop because of higher prices. They’ll find ways to make prepared foods with fewer of the bad ingredients. In the case of Hungary, for example, “initial, limited evidence suggests that the tax increased consumer prices of targeted products, reduced their consumption, and inspired some producers to reformulate products to get ingredient levels below the tax thresholds,” says the Tax Policy Center’s report.

The Navajo Nation's Tax On Junk Food Splits …

Assuming that cost is a more pertinent factor of food choice than personal taste, increasing the price of soda and junk food through taxes, while using that revenue to subsidize unprocessed fruits and vegetables would entice consumers to choose healthier products as they become more affordable than their unhealthy counterparts.

Junk Food Tax Must Be Fat, or Don't Bother, British Study Says ..

Yet when cities and states have tried to enact so-called snack taxes on soda, candy and other junk food, they’ve met resistance. Conservatives greet such attempts as evidence of the “nanny state” limiting personal choice, while hunger groups view the taxes as discriminatory against the poor, who consume more high-calorie foods.

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