RK Tip of the Week|Food Taxes & Our Future

Posted on October 31, 2010


I haven’t had much time to watch tv (or write!) lately, but when I have sat down for a little tv time, I keep getting annoyed by 1 commercial in particular. Have you seen this one- with the lady going through the grocery check-out talking about how it’s wrong that government is considering taxing soda & other unhealthy drinks? Then she says that she wants to choose her own foods, and no one should be stepping in on that by taxing her. Oh, and that life costs enough now, why is the government trying to make things harder on already strapped Americans. Sigh. (By the way, it costs you more to eat unhealthy foods, eat out often, and not exercise than it does to buy broccoli, ground turkey & put on a pair of running shoes and get moving.)

This is the US & we have the right to do whatever we want, blahblahblah, but when people are making personal choices that end up costing the entire country more – that makes for a fat mess those guaranteed rights we have as citizens. It is widely proven that obesity costs this country exceedingly huge amounts of $ each year. The total costs of obesity in the U.S. alone may exceed $215 billion annually, according to a new comprehensive study co-authored by Ross Hammond, senior fellow and director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy, and Ruth Levine. With more than two-thirds of American adults now considered overweight, and one-third obese, their study looked at 4 major categories of economic impact: direct medical costs, productivity costs, transportation costs, and human capital costs.

Whether you’re in the 8 of 10 group who’s overweight or obese, or you’re in the minority 2 of 10 that are neither overweight nor obese, this affects you. This is not like trim & fit people in spandex complaining about obese people. Overweight and obese folks are paying more too for the unhealthy habits of over-eating & under-moving. We’re all in this together. We’ve got to all take responsibility. Eating real foods, at home, with water to drink. Moving for an hour a day – yes, an hour -that’s what the standards say it will take. Keeping PE in schools & getting rid of the crap they call food in the lunch lines. Getting rid of the excuses for why you don’t *eat right *move enough & *take your health into your own hands.

One study puts the cost of smokers to the US at 300 billion. And we tax the hell out of cigarettes. Why aren’t we doing the same to foods that aid in the obesity epidemic??

As in smoking, you have the right to choose to eat garbage & drink sugary beverages. But self-destructive behavior is not something that should just be absorbed by everyone in this country. What is being proposed in the newest food tax proposition is that additional taxes be placed on pop & sugared beverages, because it’s been clearly shown that liquid calories account for a big portion of the fat-ness that is rising in this country. This, from my view point, is a step in the right direction. But of course, someone will disagree with that statement – if you have valid reasons why, I want to hear them!

Oh, and “No Food Tax” Group? 8 out of 10 Americans are overweight or obese. If you’re going to showcase “real” Americans in your ads, you should probably go find some overweight actors to be in your ads. I’m sorry if that offends you, but if you’re offended that I recommend these people go get heavier actors, then you’ve got your head in the sand about the state of our nation. Americans are NOT healthy. They are overweight or obese & are on more medications than ever before. It’s time to face reality & get moving on a plan of action! What are you going to do to move your plan forward?