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Old 06-12-2006, 02:48 PM   #1
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the Fat Tax

[q]Doctors call for 'fat tax' on Coca-Cola and Pepsi
from Barry Wigmore in New York
07:32am 12th June 2006

Doctors will this week declare war on America's soft drinks industry by calling for a 'fat tax' to combat the nation's obesity epidemic.

Delegates at the powerful American Medical Association's annual conference will demand a levy on the sweeteners put in sugary drinks to pay for a massive public health education campaign.

They will also call for the amount of salt added to burgers and processed foods to be halved.

The moves come as U.S. doctors - like their British counterparts - are becoming increasingly alarmed at the growing number of deaths linked to obesity.

The resolution will put doctors on a collision course with Coca-Cola and Pepsi, plus the likes of McDonald's and Burger King.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...0&in_a_source=

[/q]





i'm all for it. if you're going to tax the hell out of alcohol and cigarettes (and i say this as a non-smoker), let's go after what *really* endangers our health: fast food.

we get so worked up over alcohol, tobacco, and (gasp!) marijuana, yet we fail to realize that the harm these things do to the population, while not to be ignored, pale in compairson to the harm that is done by things like fast food and unhealthy, car-based lifestyles.

i feel as if we get so worked up over things that have been labled "vices" that we ignore the far greater dangers present in our day-to-day activities. sure, it's great that you want your teen to abstain from sex, but does he always wear a seatbelt? it's great that you quit smoking, but you'd be even better off if you'd lived in a community with sidewalks so you could walk down to the store and buy a gallon of milk instead of climbing into that gigantic SUV and driving through your vast exurban community.

focus on real dangers, not just the ones that have the whiff of sin and vice.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:00 PM   #2
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If you want to do this, I'm not sure that selectively targetting Coke and Pepsi is really "fair" - why not go after cookies and chips? Chocolate bars? Ice cream? Pies?

I don't drink anything with sugar in it and haven't for years so as far as I'm concerned, they can go ahead and tax the living shit out of these products but if you really want to combat this problem, merely taxing soft drinks while ignoring everything else will probably make little difference longterm.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
If you want to do this, I'm not sure that selectively targetting Coke and Pepsi is really "fair" - why not go after cookies and chips? Chocolate bars? Ice cream? Pies?

I don't drink anything with sugar in it and haven't for years so as far as I'm concerned, they can go ahead and tax the living shit out of these products but if you really want to combat this problem, merely taxing soft drinks while ignoring everything else will probably make little difference longterm.


perhaps it's simply a jumping off point?

i think we should tax anything with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:07 PM   #4
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Why not tax anything that has harmful side affects?
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i think we should tax anything with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
There's no reason that should even be on the market.

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Old 06-12-2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Why not tax anything that has harmful side affects?


why tax some things, but not others?

my drinking 5 beers on a friday night is going to have far less of a detrimental effect on my long-term health than if i ate 5 Big Macs on a Friday night.

the difference: one makes you intoxicated, the other just puts you in a food coma.
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

perhaps it's simply a jumping off point?
Yeah, I hope you're correct. As a Coca-Cola addict and stockholder, my biased opinion is that it is a bit unfair to target Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. A lot of children's juices have just as much sugar as sodas. I definitely support a blanket tax on any beverage that contains more than a certain amount/percent/whatever of sugar (or whatever is the scientific term for what's bad for you).

One of the main reasons why I drink so much soda is that it's so convenient. I go to the cafe and I can get a 12 oz can of fruit juice or tomato juice for $.75 - $1.19, or I can get 32 oz of soda for $.94 (and if I bring my refillable school cup, only $.40). When we're stressed at work and just want some calories or something to drink because it tastes good, we always go for the soda because it's way cheaper. Even as someone who "benefits" (by enjoyment) the cheapness of soda, higher prices would definitely give me more of an incentive to buy something else that would then be the same price, but much healthier. Of course, I should just be doing that anyway
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:37 PM   #8
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Will the cost of Diet Coke go up?

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Old 06-12-2006, 03:50 PM   #9
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It's a sad state of affairs when placing tax on an unhealthy product is the best way to encourage people to be healthy. It just shows how much money really controls us as a society.

I also think there is a paradox in this country - we are taught that we need to be more accepting of obese people and yet we are also taught that obesity is very harmful. How do we be accepting of obese people when obesity is such a killer?
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
why tax some things, but not others?

my drinking 5 beers on a friday night is going to have far less of a detrimental effect on my long-term health than if i ate 5 Big Macs on a Friday night.

the difference: one makes you intoxicated, the other just puts you in a food coma.
We could take these comparissons on forever. The drinker of the five beers could get behind the wheel of a car and.....


There should be some rational connection between the tax and the use of the tax revenue.

We also have no check and balance to prevent taxation of groups based on some unpopular characteristic.

Otherwise, all you end up with is a new money grab by the government that affects a group that is, in essense, disenfranchised based on the structuring of the tax system.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail


I also think there is a paradox in this country - we are taught that we need to be more accepting of obese people and yet we are also taught that obesity is very harmful. How do we be accepting of obese people when obesity is such a killer?
Well, the obese people aren't killing *you*!
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:06 PM   #12
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No they aren't killing me, but they are killing my health insurance premiums.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways
Will the cost of Diet Coke go up?


Please, no!



I think this is a great idea, personally. But why stop at drinks? I'd love for there to be an additional tax on McDonald's and Burger King, et al as well.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
If you want to do this, I'm not sure that selectively targetting Coke and Pepsi is really "fair" - why not go after cookies and chips? Chocolate bars? Ice cream? Pies?
If I read the article right, the levy would be on the sweeteners as ingredients and therefore add to production cost as a manufacturing tax, not a consumption tax so would cut across all those products.

If the scientific evidence against HFCS and hydrogenated oils is as damning as it is for nicotine (which I suspect it is) then a levy to pay for nutritional education programs makes good sense.
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail
I also think there is a paradox in this country - we are taught that we need to be more accepting of obese people and yet we are also taught that obesity is very harmful. How do we be accepting of obese people when obesity is such a killer?
It is far easier to blame the cheeseburger, fries and coke.
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