Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TAXING FATTY FOODS ON THE HORIZON

The LA Times reports that taxes on unhealthy foods may be on the horizon, put in place to combat obesity, obesity-related co-morbidities, and to pay for universal health care. The report cites a study released that looks at obesity policies gained from the tobacco war experiences.

Taxing fatty foods is a pretty narrow policy and does little to adequately combat obesity, which is, in this fat boy's mind, a serious problem of epidemic proportions. Projections state that our life expectancy is going down.

A comprehensive plan should include:
  • Insurance-covered, physician-monitored weight loss programs paid for by insurance.
  • Insurance-covered mental health services to deal with overeating issues.
  • Seeing overeating as an addiction and treating it as such.
  • Weight loss surgery approved after physician-monitored weight loss programs become inadequate.
  • Making healthy food affordable.

Putting the fork down is not enough. Many people do not understand that overeating is an addiction and is a very powerful one. Talking with a professional counselor specializing in food addiction makes a significant difference. It did with me and the techniques for combating overeating are amazingly simple. It's not a head shrink or delve-into-your-past kind of counseling session, by the way.

Taxing sodas, Ding Dongs, Ho-Hos, McGarbage, Taco Death, and other fast food restaurants would also help. I'm okay with that. We shouldn't make it easy for big companies to hook people on addictive foods and keep them addicted. If you have ever bought only healthy food, you know what your food bill looks like. It's high. I know because I buy a lot of produce, organic foods, and no sugar foods.

I also stopped drinking soda, which was an easy fix for me, but it is not easy for everyone. Caffeine is also addictive. For many folks, not drinking soda can make a significant weight loss change. I only drank diet and not much of that, but I've quit diet, too. Plain iced tea, water and skim milk make up the bulk of my liquids. I also exercise 30-40 minutes three times a week.

It would also be nice if the corn industry did not promote high fructose corn syrup as a healthy food source. Judas Priest!

5 comments:

Jeremy D. Young said...

Absolutely unacceptable for any level of Government to manage the cost of any good through direct taxation. Tobacco taxes are just as unacceptable. If a particular level of Government is in the business of taxing transactions, it should tax all transactions the same, not engaging in encouraging some behavior and discouraging others.

Just who do you think will control the encouraged behavior list? The one that has the most profit to gain by buying politicians.

Busplunge said...

Now I understand why all those commercials are running saying the gov't wants to tax soda pop and snack foods.

Jeremy D. Young said...

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic. Are you honestly basing your calculations of reality on Television Commercials? The reason I have no idea about what you're talking about is because I don't watch or listen to broadcast media. I can't stand the commercials.

There aren't going to be any government programs to successfully curb the consumption of high fructose corn syrup. There's too much money against it. There may be legislation passed that pays lip service to the "need to reduce" the consumption, but it will institutionalize its use instead of discouraging it.

This is the problem with running to the Government to solve problems. Giving them the power to control anything gives the mega corporations the opportunity to wield that power for their profit. There is no separation of that, and given enough time, I doubt you can find a government program that doesn't get exploited for gain by private corporations.

It's destroying this nation. The Left is building program after program, and the Right is bringing in corporation after corporation to feed at the trough. When does it stop? When we finally shrink government, first the Federal government back to Constitutional limits, and then State government down to manageable scope.

Jack said...

Jeremy,

Regardless of government intervention, big companies exploit the population and cash in wherever they can.

Just because government cannot completely fix a problem (drugs, teen pregnancies, poverty, hunger, violence, pick your favorite hot topic) does not mean that we should not try through our churches and our government. Churches are, in my opinion, just small governments anyway.

The government = the people. So it is appropriate for us to do whatever we can to address our problems, rather than take a each-to-his-own mentality. If that "we" means me, or a non profit, or a church, or the government, it is all the same: a bureaucracy trying to address a problem.

That's a good thing. We certainly cannot look toward our big business to attempt to fix any ills. They are only designed to make money for themselves.

So what else can we do to address these issues? We turn to ourselves (which is our government) to try to intervene.

Now I don't expect you to buy into this as your world view is different and I accept that. I just wanted to give you insight into my reasoning.

Anonymous said...

When the world wakes up and realizes that taxing corporations is only an indirect way to tax us common folks, maybe we will get somewhere. Who in their right mind believes that corporations will not pass the cost of additional taxation on to us in the price of goods? No one will believe this, unless they are mentally ill.

We need to keep government out of as much as possible. Maybe then we can afford to live a decent life. If we have any tax let's go to the "fair tax".

Instead of government bringing up the lifestyle of he lower class they are only bringing the middle class down to the level of the lower class. Keep Government OUT of our lives!