Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Would it be smart to tax unhealthly food?

Melissa Healy has an article in the LA Times looking at the dramatic increase in US obesity and its effects on the current healthcare reform. Obesity in the United States rose from 18.3% in 1998 to 25% in 2006. This has increased government healthcare spending to over $40 billion a year. Healy suggests that it might be beneficial to go down the same road with unhealthy food as was done with cigarettes a few years ago, heavily tax that which is not good for you. Tax the foods to change the way people eat, and increase the taxes 10-30% and use the taxes received to pay for the heatlhcare of the obese. It would also be wise to increase tax subsidies on foods that are healthy, such as fruits and vegetables. What do you think?

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