I was surprised to see the news about a “fat tax” to get leaner in order to lower cholesterol. It is based on the cigarette tax that made smoking a lot more expensive and thus cut down on the number of smokers and how much they smoked cigarettes.

The reason this discussion has come up is the rampant obesity rate in the United States: over 1/3 of us are obese and this had led to a climbing of cholesterol levels, blood pressure, out of control blood sugar and even cancer rates. The estimates are that a 20% surtax on unhealthy foods should drop obesity rates by 3 to 4% and thus drop the number of premature deaths due to heart disease by 2700. This is only scratching the surface since each year there are over 600000 deaths due to heart related problems.

This is out of the 100,000,000 citizens that are obese.

The first “food” that is target is sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are everywhere, they have huge displays in the stores, some of the biggest ads on TV and in magazines, they sponsor sports events (ironically), and have the highest markup around: A dollar a can for a few cents of ingredients.

Other foods that are debated are high fat foods, but this should be restricted to boxed and bagged snack foods. Avocados and nuts are healthy. The combination of the fatty starchy snacks with sugary drinks is probably the leading cause of overfeeding, and what makes it worse, there is little to no nutritional value in these “foods”. They are made to be addicting.

Such a tax could be used to subsidize healthy food to make it more affordable, although, it seems to me, that if you can afford to pay a dollar for a can of sugar water with bubbles, you can pay the same to buy two apples.  Even better would be to help subsidize the spiraling out of control health costs so insurance rates don’t keep climbing, especially for those of us that are healthy.  I don’t know how this and if this ever intends to be instituted, but it would seem to me to be a sort of luxury tax: we don’t need non-nutrient food, it’s recreational, much like smoking.

Do we need a “fat tax” to get leaner to fight cholesterol?

The growing obesity rate has led to high cholesterol, and an increase in chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer. The goal of the tax is to curb sales of unhealthy food and decrease overconsumption, which may help to prevent disease.
Original story from ABC News

While the concept of a fat tax to get the United States leaner is intriguing, would the giant food lobbies ever allow it and would people even vote it in?  This is one third of America that’s obese, and I’m sure a great deal more that could stand to lose 30 or more lbs that are not counted as obese.  I’d be all for it.  Why?  Because I want as many people to feel and look wonderful as possible, and to live longer with their families.  I want that for you.

Anybody else have an opinion?  Please comment or “like” this article if you did.

“Get Rid of Bad Cholesterol” helps your heart.