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Would A FAT Tax Improve American's Health?

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posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 02:17 AM
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Overweight and obesity and their associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the U.S. health care system (USDHHS, 2001). Medical costs associated with overweight and obesity may involve direct and indirect costs (Wolf and Colditz, 1998; Wolf, 1998). Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs. Morbidity costs are defined as the value of income lost from decreased productivity, restricted activity, absenteeism, and bed days. Mortality costs are the value of future income lost by premature death.

www.cdc.gov...


It is not my intention to lay blame for American adults and now our children for being overweight or even obese. But as the issue of access to health care is being debated, it must occur to everyone that our fast food industry is a major contributor to the wave of obesity that is sweeping America.

We have all heard the story of the fat cell. How when it is once created, it never goes away, but just lays there, waiting to be re-filled. This puts overweight people in the same risk category as other people addicted to drugs and alcohol. There is a pressure coming from inside that makes a person want to gorge himself or herself. Only by being stuffed can the person calm that irrepressible urge to eat.

I suggest that the Federal government impose a FAT TAX. Not a Fair Tax which it is not, and not a Flat Tax which is too bumpy, but a FAT Tax. Here’s how it would work: McDonald’s Double Quarter Pound Cheeseburger has 40 grams of fat. My fat tax would be 40 cents. It also has 1330 mg of salt, too much, so I’d add an extra dime for salt. Total, 50 cents FAT tax.

Pizza Hut’s Personal Pan Meat Lover’s Pizza has 49 grams of fat, so that is equal to 49 cents. It also has a full days quotient for sodium, 2460 mg of salt, so Id’ add 25 cents in this case, making a total 74 cents FAT tax.

Subway offers a 12 inch Double Meat Ball sandwich, with 84 grams of fat, a tax of 84 cents, and it has 4,980 mg of salt, two days allotment, so I’d add 40 cents for salt, making a total of $1.24 FAT tax.

Subway’s 6 inch Double Meat Cold Cut Combo comes to 28 grams of fat, for a tax or 28 cents, and has 2380 mg of salt, for 20 cents making a total of 48 cents FAT tax.

Wendy’s Quarter pound Bacon Cheddar Double Melt comes in at a low 26 grams of fat, taxed at 26 cents and 950 mg of salt, a dime added there, for a total of 36 cents FAT tax. See FATCALORIES.Com.

This FAT Tax money would go into a Trust Fund to buy health insurance for the 57 million Americans who do not have it today. As they say, “In every cloud there is a silver lining!”

[edit on 8/10/2007 by donwhite]

Mod Edit: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 10/8/2007 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 02:39 AM
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donwhite, you have done so much meticulous research on this subject I am awed and at the same time you have created a hunger in me I cannot possibly avoid. 26 grams of fat for the Wendy's double quarter pounder, bacon, cheddar cheese premium sandwich did you say?



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 02:54 AM
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Funny you should bring this up. This has been talked about for years. Check out this article.
Fat Tax
Up until a couple years ago I owned a couple bakeries. The fat tax was a HUGE concern to me. I got out of the business about a year after 9/11. Remember the Anthrax scares? People stopped getting things that had powdered sugar on top. It just got way too strange.
Anyway, back to topic. You, Sir/Miss, are on the scent of something that just might happen.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 04:16 AM
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Absolutely not!

I refuse to pay anything that discriminates for or against me based on my weight. I'll eat whatever I damn choose, and be as fat as I choose. It's none of the government's business. If they try to tax me for what I do to my own body, then they can come and take it from me.

Such an idea is not only preposterous, but downright disgusting. The government has no place telling me how fat or skinny I can be.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 10:04 AM
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posted by Johnmike
Absolutely not! I refuse to pay anything that discriminates for or against me based on my weight. I'll eat whatever I damn choose, and be as fat as I choose. It's none of the government's business. If they try to tax me for what I do to my own body, then they can come and take it from me. Such an idea is not only preposterous, but downright disgusting. The government has no place telling me how fat or skinny I can be.


I dunno Mr Johnmike. This sounds a bit like the motorcyclist who does not want to wear a helmet. Or the skateboarder doing his thing at an Extreme Park. Both are deliberately exposing themselves to a potentially severe physical injury while enjoying his or her sport in seflish privacy. The medical care needed to “stabilize” or "restore" him or her will in nearly every case exceed his or her resources. It then falls to the long suffering taxpayers who get to pay his or her medical bills. Issues of responsibility aside, the insurers of last resort do have a stake in this! What you do to yourself does matter to others.

Alcohol. Society has long regulated the amount of alcohol a person can consume in public. We have elaborate technology to verify how much a car driver has “onboard” as he or she wheels along on the public rights of way. Yes, you can get drunk in private, but you are risking your freedom and your purse if you invade the public’s sphere of influence in that inebriated condition! One of the most frequent misdemeanor charges brought in the US is DPP! Drunk in a Public Place.

Marijuana. Neither can you smoke your favorite weed in the public’s domain. Ingesting for fun or sport is prohibited. They may call themselves recreational users but the jail bars are just as thick. Having too much fun in public can get you into serious trouble. Rather than legalized MJ, it seems more likely both tobacco and MJ will be outlawed.

FAT. If the state can tell you how much to drink and what to smoke then why cannot they tell you what to eat or at least, how much of it you can eat? Recall the fellow on Oprah’s who had lost over 300 pounds and she gave him a Porsche as a reward? He was not rewarded for gaining 300 pounds but for LOSING or shedding the pounds. I’m thinking, Mr J/M, you may find yourself like the old time sun worshipers, hunting for some secret place to either take off your clothes or eat your fill of FATBURGERS!

[edit on 8/10/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by lombozo
Funny you should bring this up. This has been talked about for years. Check out this article.
Fat Tax Up until a couple years ago I owned a couple bakeries. The fat tax was a HUGE concern to me. I got out of the business about a year after 9/11. Remember the Anthrax scares? People stopped getting things that had powdered sugar on top. It just got way too strange.
Anyway, back to topic. You, Sir/Miss, are on the scent of something that just might happen.


I began my working life employed by large firms, but ended the last dozen years working for 2 different small businesses. The large firms gave me more pay and fringe benefits but the small businesses had camaraderie. If you can afford the cut in pay, the closeness to fellow workers and the owner can be a much more pleasurable reward. My last employer just paid my round trip airfare from FL to KY to join him (and 200 others) over the 4th of July weekend for the annual company picnic. I take it that confirms I left his employ in good standing.

Level playing field. Having been born a socialist and apparently destined to die as one, I no longer believe in state ownership of the means of production, but I still and will always view the true, highest and best function of the state to be to assure a level playing field for all entrepreneurs. And this in addition to assuring truth in advertising and fairness in the halls of commerce. Keeping people honest is more than enough to do. Community over the individual.

[edit on 8/10/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 01:24 PM
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I don't think you understand. It's not very complicated.

The state has no business telling me how fat or skinny I can be.

If you find that it's indecent, your municipality can ban eating burgers, ice cream, and french fries in public. I think that'd hurt your economy quite a bit though.

As for me, it's my right to do whatever I want with my body unless it's infringing on anyone else's rights. The point of making it illegal to get drunk in public (something I'm not sure I believe in, but it's somewhat reasonable nonetheless) is to prevent disruptive people from being on the streets. Completely unrelated.

Either way, the mere fact that you think that you or the state or anyone else can tell me how fat I am is a disgusting, fascist belief. I'll eat whatever I want, thank you. And I sure did enjoy that cheeseburger I had last night.

And no, if you're wondering, I'm not overweight. At least BMI-wise.



posted on Aug, 10 2007 @ 08:59 PM
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Alot of americas weith problems comes from high-fructose corn syrup.
we seem to be using it in everything. I think when we moved away from can sugars our problems with weight increased.

Sweet but Not So Innocent?

The Murky World of High-Fructose Corn Syrup

of course sitting on our backsides watching sitcoms doesnt help either.

I have to wonder though some folks are just big people, its genetics as much as what they eat. I am 6' 2" and 205 lbs and in my family I am the little guy, most of my male family relatives are 6' 2'+ and most weigh in the 230-260 lbs range its not fat they are just big and truthfully if they weighed less than 200lbs they would look unhealthy.

[edit on 8/10/2007 by DarkStormCrow]



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 03:23 AM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
A lot of Americans with problems comes from high-fructose corn syrup.
we seem to be using it in everything. I think when we moved away from can sugars our problems with weight increased. Sweet but Not So Innocent? The Murky World of High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Of course sitting on our backsides watching sitcoms doesn’t help either. I have to wonder though some folks are just big people, its genetics as much as what they eat. I am 6' 2" and 205 lbs and in my family I am the little guy, most of my male family relatives are 6' 2'+ and most weigh in the 230-260 lbs range its not fat they are just big and truthfully if they weighed less than 200lbs they would look unhealthy.


Although anemic as a child, I ultimately became obese by the 1980s and did not loose 120 pounds until the 2001-2003 time period. I became a Weight Watcher’s Lifetime member then. But, I have regained 27 pounds since then and it is proving more challenging to keep weight off than it was to lose it. Now I have to pay like everyone until I get back to my goal weight. I still go to WW, in fact I go at 8 AM every Saturday. For me food is an addiction as I imagine alcohol or drugs are for others. Throw in compulsive gambling and I’m only glad to have the weight problem rather than any of the other 3. I rate it as the most benign.

In your case D/S/C, I feel sure you are quite correct that genetics plays a huge maybe overpowering role in our physical attributes. I do not blame anyone on our bad national eating habits acquired gradually along with the prosperity that came in the Post War Two era. I can recall standing in line at the first McDonald’s in Jacksonville. No eating in, no drive through. You parked in the smallish lot and stood in line to get a very limited menu. CBs were not so popular then, so it would likely be a ‘burger, fries and a chocolate malt for each occupant of the car. About 50 cents. 1964-ish.

As Europeans are now finding out the expensive way, excessive fat and sugars in our diet raises the price of health care. I’d wager 20-30% of America’s health care costs can be tracked to overeating. Like it or not, we cannot afford to continue this unhealthy lifestyle. Whether a FAT Tax is the “final solution” to our social problems I do not know, but it is an issue the nation must face sooner or later. It is inextricably intertwined with the good nay mandatory idea of universal access to health care. I don’t agree it is a First Amendment sacred cow however.

[edit on 8/11/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 03:52 AM
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Who to tax the companies that use the fat materials in everything they make , or the consumer. Maybe a tax incentive to produce more healthy food.

Of course we as Americans could eat smaller portions the average European is amazed by our serving size when they eat here.



posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 04:15 AM
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posted by DarkStormCrow
Who to tax the companies that use the fat materials in everything they make , or the consumer. Maybe a tax incentive to produce more healthy food. Of course we as Americans could eat smaller portions the average European is amazed by our serving size when they eat here.


Super-Sizing. I date that back to the early 1990s. I think it must be that FOOD is the cheapest component of a restaurants pricing structure. Most restaurants needed to raise prices in that time frame but they did not want to drive off customers. Solution? You add 50% up to 100% of the food on a plate and you can charge 25% to 33% more and get few if any complaints.

I still recall an early experience. I was served meat loaf. I ate all any person needs to eat at one meal. I had barely eaten half the serving. The meal price was up $2 and I’m pretty sure the extra meat loaf did not cost the restauranteur anywhere near that much. Some restaurants now offer reduced portion size and give $1 or $2 off the standard price. We’re back to where we started!

[edit on 8/11/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 02:29 PM
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Watch it there, DW. You are tredding on dangerous ground, dissing Supersizing...

Frankly I haven't given this slant to the issue of dealing with obesity any thought at all. In the several minutes it took me to read the posts, I can't say I've been enlightened much, but any thing that raises my taxes any more than they are already, and impinge upon my personal freedoms to over indulge at wendy's or bk, is not something I'd readily support. Maybe upon further thought I'd change that opinion.

You certainly did give it some thought though. Respect where respect is due, my freind.

Oh in case anyone is interested, or cares, I'm 6'4" and @270 lbs, not obese by any stretch of the imagination, just extra large...

[edit on 12-8-2007 by seagull]



posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 05:30 PM
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posted by seagull
Watch it there, DW. You are tredding on dangerous ground, dissing Supersizing...any thing that raises my taxes any more than they are already, and impinge upon my personal freedoms to over indulge at wendy's or bk, is not something I'd readily support. Maybe upon further thought I'd change that opinion.


10-4. Actually I'm a Right to Choice person myself. Mayhaps the Roe v Wade case will come to your rescue?

But OTOH, what if the insuance companies begin using BMI for premium rating purposes? (Some already do).



[edit on 8/12/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 12:24 PM
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If you really want to get people to eat healthier than the price of food that is good for you should go down.

Bad Food for you:

Chilli $0.69
Cheese $1.87
Normal Ground Beef (75% Beef 25% fat) $3.85


Good food for you:

Ground Beef (95% Beef 5% Fat) $6.75
Normal Salad $ 6.25

Those are just a few off the top of my head.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by Royal76
Bad Food for you:
Chilli $0.69
Cheese $1.87
Normal Ground Beef (75% Beef 25% fat) $3.85
Good food for you:
Ground Beef (95% Beef 5% Fat) $6.75
Normal Salad $ 6.25


I always thought the pricing of "better" foods was odd. If there's less fat, less caffeine, less sugar than less ingrediant and the price should go down, no?

Oh well.

Perhaps in the realm of government provided healthcare a "fat tax" would be justified as it isnt fair for me, an incredible specimen of the male species, to front the bill for some slob who hasnt taken care of himself since day one.
But sooner or later that situation will become a similar one to whats happening in the UK with doctors speaking out and saying the obese should not be treated by the system.

The individual cost of obesity comes in the form of increased insurance premiums, decreased health and ultimately an untimely death. It begins to effect me when their providers drop them and they grow so outrageously grotesque that they can no longer work to support themselves and end up bound to their bed with sores all over their bodies and once they cut down a wall to drag them on a flatbed truck to the hospital they usually die before they have a chance to pay their bill. Then we all pick up the cost the next time we need medical care.

Maybe if there were more Maury Povich's and Oprah's out there to make a spectacle of the process of burying a human in a piano box, and subequently paying the bills for it, the burden of the obese on society would be less. Perhaps a sort of traveling fat circus. It would give them work, money, and maybe have a "scared-straight" effect on the population.



posted on Aug, 16 2007 @ 08:37 PM
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DW you make some good points but anything that raises my taxes any higher then the already are is not something I'm going to jump on board for. Instead of a fat tax how about some incentives for people to lose weight or get in shape?

There are times when nothing will satisfy but a Wendy's bacon cheeseburger with a baked potatoe. It's not up to the government to regulate when I have one and when I don't.

Instead of a fat tax lets find some way to make healthier food easier to afford.



posted on Sep, 8 2007 @ 10:45 AM
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This is just a comment on taxes in General.

Liberals know that if you tax something in particular it discourages its use.

So when they raise taxes on income or capital gains don't they realize it does the same thing?

They are not interested in your health...They just want more money to control your life!

You think a fat tax is going to change the eating habits of the rich? No, it's only going to affect the poor and middle class. The 2 groups that liberals love to control.



posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 06:14 PM
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posted by RRconservative
This is just a comment on taxes in General. Liberals know that if you tax something in particular it discourages its use. So when they raise taxes on income or capital gains don't they realize it does the same thing?


That statement is historically inaccurate. Reagan-esque. Beginning in 1942, the top tax rate on Americans was 91% of income over $200,000. Capital gains tax was ½ the income tax rate for that bracket, but limited to 28%. Corporate tax was 55% and in addition, there was an EXCESS profits tax of 20% if the company’s income exceeded its prior averages. Paid by those Americans Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation".

The 1946 80th Congress (first GOP since 1932) reduced the corporate and eliminated the excess profits tax. The 91% personal income tax rate was not reduced until Pres. Kennedy lowered it to 70%. It remained at that level until Pres. Carter lowered it to 50%. I believe America prospered during that time frame? Which would include the famous "Welfare Cadillac"
era.


You think a fat tax is going to change the eating habits of the rich? No, it's only going to affect the poor and middle class. The 2 groups that liberals love to control.


Trite!

[edit on 9/10/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
As for me, it's my right to do whatever I want with my body unless it's infringing on anyone else's rights. The point of making it illegal to get drunk in public (something I'm not sure I believe in, but it's somewhat reasonable nonetheless) is to prevent disruptive people from being on the streets. Completely unrelated.


But, the obese DO infringe upon my rights for moderately priced health insurance.
All the fat-related medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes are expenisive to treat. And now gastric bypass and who knows what else that non-obese people are forced to pay for if they want healthcare.
Especially since the drug companies are more than happy to overcharge, over-advertise and overwhelm us with how much we need these drugs.



posted on Sep, 10 2007 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
Absolutely not!

I refuse to pay anything that discriminates for or against me based on my weight. I'll eat whatever I damn choose, and be as fat as I choose. It's none of the government's business. If they try to tax me for what I do to my own body, then they can come and take it from me.

Such an idea is not only preposterous, but downright disgusting. The government has no place telling me how fat or skinny I can be.


Health is becoming a big issue in business. The cost of employees with poor habits that lead to poor health is driving insurance costs up a lot, and not only cost but loss days that lead to loss of production i.e. profit. Many companies will not hire smokers, and others require a physical. I think it is every person’s right to do whatever they want to their bodies too, but there are still consequences when it also affects others.

The fat tax he is talking about is a tax on the food that is basically bad for you, so kind of like a cigarette tax, and not one per pound so to speak. hehe


[edit on 10-9-2007 by Xtrozero]



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