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Could a tax on chocolate (hmmm... chocolate) be the answer to the obesity crisis?

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posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:35 PM
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Every year they raise the tax on booze and cigarettes and that doesn't seem to do a lot to stop people drinking and smoking.

If the price of something you love goes up then you just cut back on something else so you can still afford your chosen 'vice'.

I agree with other members about the state of food in general - more focus should be put on the lack of nutritional value in other products.

(I'm speaking as an 'on the wagon' chocoholic. I'm surprised the chocolate manufacturers didn't go bankrupt when I gave it up.)

I don't think there should ever be a tax on any kind of food, it's our most basic requirement. And if some people choose to live on 'luxury' food rather than 'basics' so be it. Their body, their choice.




posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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Chocolate is the only pleasure I have left in this godforsaken life. I swear the government is out to get me. Damn them!!

Peace
Trustnobody



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by whoswatchinwho
 


You know, the media is so quick to tell people why they are fat....take your pick...lazy, lethargic, apathetic, overconsumption, sedentary, etc.

But if one digs into the additives in most foods, not JUST fast foods, but dairy and meat products as well, they would see a whole hoard of unnatural things that "trigger" cravings, fat storage, low metabolism, thyroid problems, heart disease, diabetes, you name it! Many of these additives are comparable to caffeine and drug dependancy, which is why "food addiction" is one of the biggest killers in our nation. It's not addiction to the food itself, it's the addiction to the hidden additives, chemicals, hormones, etc., some of which are designed to be addictive for that very purpose!! (MSG is one! "No one can eat just one"....remember that slogan? There's a reason why!)

Taxing chocolate will not make a dent in the obesity epidemic. It will only make the issuers of the tax more rich. Getting RID of the additives in processed foods, and going organic on produce, dairy and meat is the ONLY thing that will begin to heal the people who have been poisoned for decades. But they don't want that, do they?



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
What worries me are the replies so far. Why is it assumed that it is OK to tax anything for punitive reasons? Taxes are meant to be a fair share of government expenses paid for by each person. Somehow they have become a way to control what we do, what we eat, where we go, what we buy... and people seem to be OK with that?


Well said. The government proposes to tax something, and the people cry "No, tax us on this instead!!"

Its sad that people are willing to pay a legislative body to enjoy the things they used to do for free because its "fair".

Im still waiting for the air tax one of these days. I mean all of that exhaling is destroying our environment, someone needs to pay to fix all of this global warming.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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People do not eat as much chocolate as they do chips and mcdonalds. That tax would be pointless.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by sadisticwoman
 


And therein lies the problem - I certainly wouldn't want to see a "fat tax" on fast food, but it would certainly make more sense.

What would make even more sense would be to slap a hefty corporate tax on fast food corporations...



[edit on 17/3/2009 by budski]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
What worries me are the replies so far. Why is it assumed that it is OK to tax anything for punitive reasons? Taxes are meant to be a fair share of government expenses paid for by each person. Somehow they have become a way to control what we do, what we eat, where we go, what we buy... and people seem to be OK with that?



Well consider the issue with processed corn syrups. The way it stands now, high fructose corn syrup is cheaper to produce than cane sugar, and neither is taxed in excess of the other. Well this is fine and dandy, except that corporations that produce 90% of the products we consume would rather include high fructose corn syrup than sugar simply because of the price break. Soft drinks switched over, then snack foods, and now even basic foods like peanut butter and canned fruit are loaded with high fructose corn syrup.

Well even that would be fine, if we never found out just how bad hfcs is for people, and how it is a leading contributor to diabetes in children and young adults. But because we live in a free capitalist society, companies are still allowed to load up their products with all the syrup they want. They even buy ad-space on tv to try and debunk the medical concerns over high fructose corn syrup, I'm sure you've seen the ads.

Now we have a situation where the ignorant masses are consuming way too much of this stuff every day, often unwillingly, because its in almost everything you can buy.

Now I'm not saying we should control what people eat, or smoke, or drink. But there should be regulations on the companies that produce our foods, and right now the free market is failing the American people in that regard. By simply taxing high fructose corn syrup to the point where sugar once again becomes the preferable alternative, we would have an overall healthier society, which is better for everyone, while costing the consumer only a few pennies more per bottle of soda, etc.

Another good example are cigarettes. Instead of taxing cigarettes themselves (a moronic gesture, at best), we should be taxing the unhealthy additives that major companies like to put into them. Imagine if for example, we taxed all non-organic cigarettes to the point where companies were only using natural ingredients. It might cost the consumer an extra 50 cents per pack, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. If American Spirit can produce organic cigarettes for about a buck more per pack than Marlboro, the big companies can step up and take responsibility for what they put in their products.

Again, I'm against frivolous taxes at the consumer level. But the fact is that levying taxes on unhealthy substances is probably the best way (in a free market society) to stop corporations from poisoning the American populace.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by whoswatchinwho
 


Chocolate doesn't make you fat, is the refined sugar and corn syrup that many cheap candy bars are full of it.

Actually cocoa at its finest of about 75% and up while a littler bit bitter is great for you hart.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:12 PM
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No....obese people will just find a substitute to stuff into their faces.

Taxing food is not the answer, breaking through peoples delusions, ignorance and insecurities to overcome gluttony is.

Q: Who would get the tax and why? The health service should but then it's like condoning obesity and providing a treatment but not a cure.

Maybe the tax should be paid to the non-obese people....that way they (the obese) can get it back if they diet and excersise.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:19 PM
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Maybe they should tax sex...or how about peeing or taking a dump?

They should tax belly lint.

They should tax finger nail crud.

You know what....

This is stupid.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by whoswatchinwho
 


Sometimes it really does seem like they sit down and look at what we're spending money on and just put the price up using the excuse " it's better for you " cigs, liquor now chokky??? why not lower the price of healthy stuff like fruit, veg and vitamins for a change


the bottom line is when prices go up it's certainly not for OUR health, who do they think theyre kidding?



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:28 PM
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There are 2 things I will never allow the government to take away from me.

Coffee and Chocolate. If and when they do or try to tax it beyond my ability to buy it, then I will be the first to lead a charge on the powers that be to demand justice...


Of course... taking away my freedom to enjoy the above would be just about as bad...



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by whoswatchinwho
 


taking chokky off the females would NOT be the cleverest move..who ever suggested such a silly thing must be a single male



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by drwizardphd

I completely disagree. Using taxation to control the habits of people is both a perversion of the purpose of taxation and a means to allow those making the taxes to control others... and might I remind, 'others' includes everyone reading this post.

If you want to combat something unhealthy, then either teach the people about it, or outlaw it! Laws were designed to enforce proper behavior, not taxation. But we don't do that because it makes money for the government to use taxes, whereas it costs money to run public awareness campaigns. We don't outlaw things because to do so would cause financial distress to the companies who use them, and those companies pay big bucks to the politicians so the politicians will protect them. By taxing it, the politicians get more money, the companies are left unharmed, and the public again pays the bill, all the while thinking how wonderful our government is to try and save us from ourselves.

Poppycock! If you are so dumb that you cannot think for yourself, go ahead and try to live on Big Macs. Go ahead and die young. That will solve the overpopulation problem pretty quickly, and leave more of the better alternatives for the rest of us who have two neurons left to rub together.

Not only is this a blasphemous perversion of taxation, but it is arrogant as well. If you will truly watch and read the research going on, most of what we are spoon-fed by reporters pretending to be scientists (I assume they stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, so that makes it all OK
) is nothing more than unproven hypothesis backed up by initial, unreviewed tests, some of which are performed in such unscientific manners as to be useless.

Cigarettes cause cancer? Then why do non-smokers still get cancer? Why do some smokers not get cancer?

Trans-fats cause heart disease? Then why doesn't everyone who eats trans-fats die of heart disease?

Cholesterol causes heart attacks? Then why do some people die of old age, despite high cholesterol?

Every week new reports surface to explain more about what is contributing to the latest health scare. In the case of cholesterol, the case was so weak they finally gave in and admitted there is 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol. Years ago, within the space of two weeks, I watched whole milk go from being healthy, to being a high source of cholesterol and therefore deadly, to being healthy since it contains chemicals that neutralize that cholesterol, to being deadly again because cholesterol was not totally neutralized and it now contained high levels of fat, to being healthy again because the cholesterol was mostly 'good' cholesterol and the fat was easily metabolized. That happened, I repeat, in a two-week span of time. I immediately tuned out every report since then on the dangers of foods. I now check out the research myself and make up my own mind.

But in the meantime, the vast majority of the population will continue listening to an industry now composed of mostly quacks who went to med school to keep from having to actually work, and scream and moan about how we should tax people more so they will make 'healthier' choices. Give me a break!

Oh, wait, you can't. Tax breaks cause AIDS


[/rant]

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by drwizardphd
 


You can thank Bob Dole for taking tons of money from ADM to pass bills subsidise the HFCS brainwashing....I try to stay away from the stuff but it is present in about all processed food products.... Pepsi has picked up on this and is marketing drinks with sugar instead..... I like to have chocolate in some form almost daily and I now just use cocoa, sugar, vanilla and 2% milk to satisfy my insane cravings. Cutting back on HFCS has made a major difference in the way I feel. My father was a cook in the Army and owned a grocery store, he always told me that corn syrup was bad stuff. I smoke American Spirit Tobacco, no more COPD and my doctor says my lungs sound clearer than most non smokers.....Things that don't hurt you or that are good for you shouldn't be taxed.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:46 PM
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Chocolate cannot be to blame soley for obesity. How about a Chippy tax too?
Or Takeaway Pizza tax? Or a Couch tax?

Just another way for the goverment to get more money, by putting pressure(cash?) onto doctors, for their expert opinion



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck


I completely disagree. Using taxation to control the habits of people is both a perversion of the purpose of taxation and a means to allow those making the taxes to control others... and might I remind, 'others' includes everyone reading this post.


Well, we agree to disagree, but as I stated in my other post I am completely against taxation as a means to control people's habits. I support it as a means to control business's habits. And while I can see how many people will not agree with that either, I happen to think a completely unregulated market will only lead to ruin.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
If you want to combat something unhealthy, then either teach the people about it, or outlaw it! Laws were designed to enforce proper behavior, not taxation.


Well, here I completely agree with you. I'd love nothing more to see high fructose corn syrup outlawed, but unfortunately I don't think its realistic. Many people do know about high fructose corn syrup's dangers, but as I also said in my other post, the media is sold out to the highest bidder, and in this case, its the soft-drink companies. And its hard to avoid something that's as widespread as hfcs. Just read the labels next time you pick up food at your local grocer and you'll realize how much of it we consume.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Cigarettes cause cancer? Then why do non-smokers still get cancer? Why do some smokers not get cancer?


They do. That doesn't mean they should be taxed or regulated. Just what companies can put into them.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Trans-fats cause heart disease? Then why doesn't everyone who eats trans-fats die of heart disease?


They do. That doesn't mean they should be taxed or regulated.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
Cholesterol causes heart attacks? Then why do some people die of old age, despite high cholesterol?


It does. That doesn't mean it should be taxed or regulated.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
But in the meantime, the vast majority of the population will continue listening to an industry now composed of mostly quacks who went to med school to keep from having to actually work, and scream and moan about how we should tax people more so they will make 'healthier' choices. Give me a break!



Again, I said I was against taxes at the consumer level. And I agree with you, if we could outlaw hfcs in foods and outlaw pesticides in cigarette production, we would all be a lot healthier. I just accept that its much easier for taxes to be levied than for laws to be passed and enforced. If you can "convince" the company to change its ways by switching around the bottom line, rather than enforce the changes with painful legislation, you save the American taxpayer quite a bit of money in the long run. And if I have learned anything about the way businesses in America work, they will always put out the cheapest possible product while maintaining minimum standards of "quality".



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by drwizardphd

Forgive that last rant post; it really wasn't completely directed at you personally. I just get so tired of other people telling me what I should pay for something... but back to our topic...


I support it as a means to control business's habits. And while I can see how many people will not agree with that either, I happen to think a completely unregulated market will only lead to ruin.

I can see your position, but it is flawed. Any tax that is leveed against a business will serve to only increase the cost to the consumer. No business is going to ignore the cost of doing business; it simply can't. A business exists for one reason and one reason alone: to make a profit.

Now, should that tax be so high as to make the product unaffordable to the consumer, the business will indeed lose, but again, who does this hurt? Primarily the stockholders, who are typically people who work for a living and have funds invested through a Mutual Fund account for retirement, and the workers in the company who will either lose time as business slows down or perhaps lose their jobs completely. I assure you, those who make the decisions will be the last people to be hurt by such a tax; they are well-prepared for a financial downturn.

A completel;y unregulated market will indeed lead to ruin (as we are seeing happen right now with the banking industry), but taxation will not regulate business. Only laws will do that. A good example is a trucking company based in Arizona named Swift Transportation. Swift used to be well-known in the industry for having trucks that were governed extremely slow, 60 mph at one time. In contrast, the speed limit in Arizona is 75 mph, making their trucks actually dangerous. The AZ DOT picked up on this problem and began charging Swift Transportation a huge sum every day they did not turn their trucks up to a higher speed. They did nothing except pay the fines, because they could save more than the maximum fine on their insurance rates by keeping the trucks slow.

They finally did turn their trucks up to 68 mph, after the AZ DOT stated that their authority to operate would be pulled if they did not comply. What years of massive fines could not accomplish, a single enforcement of a law succeeded at accomplishing.


Again, I said I was against taxes at the consumer level. And I agree with you, if we could outlaw hfcs in foods and outlaw pesticides in cigarette production, we would all be a lot healthier. I just accept that its much easier for taxes to be levied than for laws to be passed and enforced. If you can "convince" the company to change its ways by switching around the bottom line, rather than enforce the changes with painful legislation, you save the American taxpayer quite a bit of money in the long run.

I think you're forgetting the forest because of the trees here. If the intent is to save the taxpayer money, how is adding taxes going to accomplish that?

Oh, and as to the pesticides in cigarettes, I recently switched from Marlboro to home-rolled smokes. They taste soooooo much better (like they did when I started smoking), I smoke less than I did with no desire to slow down, and I do indeed feel better. So I can verify your stance on those poisons. My next step is to grow my own 'baccy'.


TheRedneck


[edit on 3/17/2009 by TheRedneck]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
What worries me are the replies so far. Why is it assumed that it is OK to tax anything for punitive reasons? Taxes are meant to be a fair share of government expenses paid for by each person.


Taxes are a neccessity...they pay for a civilized society. I like taxes on gasoline...user-pay...if they go for maintaining roads. Taxes on smokes and booze (sin taxes)...sure. There is a societal cost for the effects upon the health of the public...why not have the user pay? Taxes upon unhealthy foods? Makes sense to me.

Look at it this way, Redneck...why should you do the heavy lifting on paying the health costs of an unhealthy society if you treat your own self better? Even if you don't have universal health care...there is still a societal cost, even if it only means you have to work harder to make up for that ill co-worker.

There's a bigger picture here than just 'the Nanny State'



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck
why should you do the heavy lifting on paying the health costs of an unhealthy society if you treat your own self better? Even if you don't have universal health care...there is still a societal cost, even if it only means you have to work harder to make up for that ill co-worker.

There's a bigger picture here than just 'the Nanny State'


So if a guy eats himself into oblivion, I should have to pay extra if I want to drink a Pepsi once a week, therefore paying (be it small) to keep him alive? No. He had a choice, we all do. Take care of yourself, plan ahead, dont be dependant on the kindness of others. Either real or forced.

The governments have the right to tax us to keep the country strong and moving forward. Things such as defence, roads, bridges, etc... From there on out, we are on our own. I personally take care of myself and ask no one for help when I do get sick. No way should I be forced to pay for someone else because they created a problem that adversly affects them.

Sorry, if you cant stay off the couch, away from McWhatever, or cant get through the day without 10 candy bars, thats your problem, not mine. You pay for it and leave my wallet alone.



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