Theodore's World: Obama Wants To Tax Fattening Foods

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July 29, 2009

Obama Wants To Tax Fattening Foods

Tough love for fat people: Tax their food to pay for healthcare

Los Angeles Times

When historians look back to identify the pivotal moments in the nation's struggle against obesity, they might point to the current period as the moment when those who influenced opinion and made public policy decided it was time to take the gloves off.

As evidence of this new "get-tough" strategy on obesity, they may well cite a study released today by the Urban Institute titled "Reducing Obesity: Policy Strategies From the Tobacco Wars."

In the debate over healthcare reform, the added cost of caring for patients with obesity-related diseases has become a common refrain: most recent is the cost-of-obesity study, also released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It finds that as obesity rates increased from 18.3% of Americans in 1998 to 25% in 2006, the cost of providing treatment for those patients' weight-driven problems increased healthcare spending by $40 billion a year.

~snipet ~

"Facing the serious consequences of an uncontrolled obesity epidemic, America's state and federal policy makers may need to consider interventions every bit as forceful as those that succeeded in cutting adult tobacco use by more than 50%," the Urban Institute report says. It took awhile -- almost 50 years from the first surgeon general's report on tobacco in 1964 -- to drive smoking down. But in many ways, the drumbeat of scientific evidence and the growing cultural stigma against obesity already are well underway -- as any parent who has tried to bring birthday cupcakes into her child's classroom certainly knows.

Key among the "interventions" the report weighs is that of imposing an excise or sales tax on fattening foods. That, says the report, could be expected to lower consumption of those foods. But it would also generate revenues that could be used to extend health insurance coverage to the uninsured and under-insured, and perhaps to fund campaigns intended to make healthy foods more widely available to, say, low-income Americans and to encourage exercise and healthy eating habits.

If anti-tobacco campaigns are to be the model, those sales taxes could be hefty: The World Health Organization has recommended that tobacco taxes should represent between two-thirds and three-quarters of the cost of, say, a package of cigarettes; a 2004 report prepared for the Department of Agriculture suggested that, for "sinful-food" taxes to change the way people eat, they may need to equal at least 10% to 30% of the cost of the food.

And although 40 U.S. states now impose modest extra sales taxes on soft drinks and a few snack items, the Urban Institute report suggests that a truly forceful "intervention" -- one that would drive down the consumption of fattening foods and, presumably, prevent or reverse obesity -- would have to target pretty much all the fattening and nutritionally empty stuff we eat: "With a more narrowly targeted tax, consumers could simply substitute one fattening food or beverage for another," the reports says.

Of course, the United States also would have to adopt extensive menu- and food-labeling changes that would make "good foods" easily distinguishable from the bad ones subject to added taxes. Not to worry though: Several European countries, most notably Great Britain, have led the way in this area.


Wild Thing's comment.........

OK I hope I can make sense with what I am thinking.

First of all anyone that is overweight should be allowed to make the decision on their own to want to get in shape. And there are plenty of extremely thin people that are not in shape either. Too thin or too fat, both are at risk at not being as healthy as they should be or could be. But it needs to be up to each individual and not coming from any government. That is BS.

OK now about extra taxing funk food. NO way, please don't do that. Computer food is necessary. LOL And how the heck are we to survive Obama without some junk food along the way, that ever lovin feel good food and soft drinks.

Nicholas and his diet cokes and for me I am a frappuccino addict. Both of those would be on Obama's list to tax.
The Democrats are being super-stupid as usual. Many foods can be fattening if you eat enough of them.Where do you draw the line between fattening foods and healthy foods?

You can get fat on health food. Heck I can go to a Sweet Tomatoes and load up a salad that would be just as fattening as a hot fudge sundae.

Plus not everybody that eats Twinkies, Big-Macs, pizza, or any other high calorie food is fat. That means that the 147 pound guy is being charged for the health care of a 300 pound guy.

How does Nadler, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy and some others feel about this. What is good for the goose kind of thing. Can I use the word goose with Barney Franks name? hahaha

Obama does not give a rat’s patootie about citizens. It’s all about power and gaining more power over every facet of one’s life.

Here is some liberal the overweight but hand out needles to junkies for free. sheessh that is how these idiots think.

I am 5'11 and have modeled with my weight being between 130 and 150. At 130 I look like a skelton and 160 is a healthier weight. Most of the magazine covers I did I weighed 160 hahaha that would be obese to Obama I bet.

Twenty years ago when I was body building there was this really nice guy at the Gold's gym that wanted more then anything to be a firemen. He had been a body builder for 5 years, competing etc. He took all his firemen tests and passed with flying colors. BUT when it came to the weight part of the exam he failed. This was in Venice, Calif. just down the road from Malibu. He failed because his weight did not match the weight chart for his height. He was 5'5 and even though he had extremely low body fat count he was considered way over weight. I asked him, didn't they see you in person to know the chart meant nothing and you are in great shape. He said it did not matter, that yes they saw him and told him he had to get his weight down 25 pounds. He did it but he really had to work his butt of to do it. It is not only hard to put muscle on but also hard to take it off.

If Obama goes by weight charts there are also going to be a lot of in shape people that will show up as over weight just like the firemen did. There is that too.

There are no real incentives with Obama, he is a downer all the way. If they do this tax on junk food, then why not say, if a person gets healthy or gains or looses weight to get in shape then give them the incentive to NOT have to pay the tax once they get in shape. Like a goal. There would still be people that would just rather pay the tax and not care so then Obama and Pelosi etc. would still get their hands on money that they worship. that they do not earn.


.....Thank you Richard for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at July 29, 2009 08:46 AM


My health teacher in high school (1975) told us that the Big Mac was a nutritious food. It has meat, grains, vegetables, dairy. I tend to agree, I like the Big Mac. There is a certain small but vocal part of the population that would have us eating Kashi and kelp. Obama would have us eating Soylent Green. They are trying to group their cattle.
BHO "We'll tax tobacco"
Cattle "Yes, we can"
BHO "we'll tax the rich"
Cattle, "yes,we can"
BHO "we'll tax junk food"
Cattle "yes, we can"
And on and on....

Posted by: Jim at July 29, 2009 11:50 AM

Let's see, he's going to tax the basics. That means carbohydrates, the fat producers as well as the fats. So that means the mainstays of diet like potatoes and rice are going to be taxed, likewise flour products, bread, pancakes, macaroni. Think that cornmeal isn't a high glycemic food, or those veggies are all starch free, think again.
This is as insidious a tax as the carbon tax but it's going to be duplicitous, a double tax in that case, carbon is part of the carbohydrate molecule. For now it's that camels' nose under the tent for the fast food industry, like gangrene it will move up the system to kill the host. Guess what folks that taxes the lowest dregs of society as well as the high flyers. Welcome to Socialism, that is the Hope and Change y'all wanted. Last time this old diabetic learned(ongoing) about metabolism, everything ingested turns from carbohydrates to sugar to fat and to crap!!!

I see a lot of rather swarthy Democrats around Red Square, Bwahahaha!!!!

I agree Jim, junk science always foreplay's a new Democrat tax!!!

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2009 11:53 AM

obama wins in three ways with this proposal. He gets to raise more taxes, he controls us more and he pays back his buddies the trial lawyers who will sue the butt off Ronald MacDonald et al.

WT, as always your graphics are the best.

Posted by: TomR at July 29, 2009 12:52 PM

Well by the time this asshole is done there won't be any extra money for Micky D's or burger king. It will all be eaten up by taxes for health care and Carbon foot prints.

Congress is also useless. As I see it we may have one more shot at changing this and maybe not.

Posted by: Mark at July 29, 2009 02:08 PM

Jim, thank you so much, YUM I love those

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 30, 2009 02:57 AM

Jack, heh heh

"I see a lot of rather swarthy Democrats around Red Square, Bwahahaha!!!!"

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 30, 2009 02:59 AM

Tom, thank you sooooo much, I really
appreciate it.

All three things you mentioned is so true,
perfect list of how it is too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 30, 2009 03:01 AM

Mark,praying and fingers crossed and
phones made. The only positive of this
is we can know we fought back as much
as we could other then walking in the
place and ripping the bill up in
front of all of them. But then we
would be in jail or something sheesh.

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 30, 2009 03:07 AM

The dipshit in chief should watch The Deadliest Catch and see what those guys eat. A meal is in the area of 5,000 calories and loaded with fat and carbs. Said items are necessary for making it in that environment. And those guys in the Bering Sea bring him his fancy crab for his fancy dinner parties. And they pay taxes.

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RET at July 30, 2009 08:44 AM

Absolutely correct, I am not for anyone being dangerously over weight but when a president gets involved in what is essentially not his business, it is time to do something..

Posted by: Stormie at July 30, 2009 05:55 PM

Anyone remember the movie Demolition Man? In the future you couldn't smoke, swear, eat meat, drive cars with engines, think for yourself...etc.hmmmmmmmmm

Posted by: joel at July 30, 2009 08:29 PM