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Should the U.S. Impose a Fat Tax? Sixwise Readers Respond!
(Plus link to ways of Losing Weight WITHOUT A DIET)


The United States is considering launching a tax on soda to help fight fat. The tax is meant to work in two ways:

fat tax

Would a fat tax make Americans eat healthier and lose weight? Or is it just another way for Big Brother to assert his control? YOU told us your thoughts below!

  1. Help Americans lose weight by discouraging them from buying soda (the CDC pointed out that the average American consumes about 250 more calories a day than they did 20-30 years ago, and 120 of those come from soda and other sugary drinks)

  1. Raise revenues to help offset costs of obesity-related illnesses, which currently cost the U.S. close to $150 billion a year

If you missed the full article on whether the United States should impose a fat tax, you can read it now, but last week we asked YOU to share your opinions about this hotly debated topic.

And share your opinions you did!

The responses were drawn fairly evenly down the line, with about half giving a wholehearted YES … and the other half an adamant NO!

THANK YOU to every one who took their time to respond … and here is what you all had to say:

“Yes, why not most every thing else is.”

“Govt. should tax the companies that make bad foods. Consumers should be warned about MSG (and the 11 other names for it). High Fructose Corn syrup is a bad problem in weight gain. Trans fats and soy products are bad. BHT is bad, etc. Publicize these problems (along with artificial sweeteners). Educate the populace. Tax the perpetrators of poisons.”
--Ann Marlowe, Ph.D. Joplin, MO

“Definitely. There is no question that it would affect how much soda is consumed. Raised MONEY should be used for education and health care.”

“No,no,no!! Soon to follow will be a national "weigh in.” We will be taxed, monthly, on every pound that we are overweight. Soon to follow will be a monthly tax on every point that cholesterol is too high. This is a slippery slope. Big Brother would be in his glory!!”
--Dan Hunter Allen Park, Mi. 48101

“Definitely not!!! We need to have a revolution in this country and overthrow the government and allow Ron Paul to be the president and keep the Constitution of the USA. Plus keep the ten commandments. With the current Press the US is in big big trouble. Time to get out of the country.”

“Yes, maybe this will convince parents that they should monitor their children’s eating habits and reduce their intake of sodas, sweets and fats.”
--Brenda Hill, Warner Robins GA

“No way! Get the government out of our kitchen.”

“NO! If they do, I will stop exercising, start smoking again. I will drink and eat unhealthy. I worked at being 20 pounds overweight and I am proud of it. I am very healthy.”
--Sarah San Antonio, Texas

“Yes, It would discourage people from consuming unhealthy foods. The populace would be healthier, leaner and more attractive. We could save on health care cost.”

“NO! We have too much Government in our lives already. The Administration has plenty to worry about without getting into our private lives. That is why there is so much opposition to the Health Care Bill being proposed.”

“Yes, diet soda is as available as regular soda, and water is even better -- healthy and free if you use your home faucet.”

“Yes, same as they do for other unhealthy choices, such as cigarettes.”


“NO. No more than a skinny tax. Some people have health issues that cause/contribute to being overweight. There is a difference in those people and those that just cram their face with food all the time.”

“No. That is communistic like the government wants to control Everything people do, even what they eat. !!! Most overweight people had too much controlling behavior in their past to begin with and the only thing they could control was what they chose to put in their mouth. Ridiculous Idea. I hope you end this stupid article !!! Obesity needs to be treated Not Taxed.”

“No because everything that is not skinless chicken breast, fish, fruits and vegetables or low fat yogurt would have to be taxed more. People should be free to make their own choices. Get more info out to the public.”
--Michelle Cornu Thenard France

“Absolutely not. It is partly the government’s fault for forcing some of the ingredients into our foods and allowing others. Many countries have better controls on what goes into the foods their people eat than we do here.”

“NO. Our citizens are over taxed as it is. Sugar should not be subsidized by our laws. Small organic farmers must have more liberty to farm without government dictatorial control.”

“Yes, every 12 oz of a soft drink has 11 teaspoons of sugar. Buy a half dozen test tubes. Get some corks. Put 11 teaspoons of sugar in a test tube, put in a cork, and tape to a can of coke, sprite, or Pepsi. Put around house where they will be easily seen.”

“Yes, on the corporations who have the most to gain, not the people who are victimized by their addictive products!!”
--Marilou Brewer, N.D.

“No. If you do, then you must tax the diabetics, people who have heart disease and everybody else who has something wrong. The tax should be on the fast food restaurants or extremely unhealthy foods.”

“No. That would be just another invasion of our personal liberties. We are losing control at too rapid a pace. It is time to stop our out of control government.”

“Absolutely: To encourage people to get maximum nutritional bang for the caloric buck, impose additional taxes on food & drink products that foster obesity. At a minimum, these would include (1) any food serving that contains what nutritionists would consider an inordinate number of calories and (2) all highly caloric drinks of little nutritional benefits (all alcoholic beverages and non-diet sodas, as well as many of the less-than-100% "juice drinks"). Other candidates for additional taxes would include low-calorie foods and drinks that studies show (ironically) are associated with obesity (e.g., many artificially sweetened drinks).”

“Tax the producers who add High fructose corn syrup, Sodium Laural Sulfate and other products that cause addictive overeating.”

“Yes, go to market a lot of fat people have more soda than food in their carts. They are training their kids to be diabetics -- i know some that will only eat fast food.”

“Yes I think the U.S. should implement a fat tax. I am overweight a little myself and I think this would definitely push me into shape. Being overweight is costing the U.S. millions of dollars and its something that most of us can help. So I feel that unless you have a health reason for your being overweight, you should have to have a fat tax implemented upon you.”

“Tax sodas? I think they should all be banned!!”
--Edna Rhodes Watkinsville, Ga.

“Would prefer to stop subsidizing corn (and soy) so the cost of hfcs rises to reflect its true price -- and use that subsidy $ organic/vegetable production -- the small farmer and not the ag giants.”

“This is getting ridiculous!!!!! Pretty soon we will be taxed for what amount of air we breathe.”

“I would be ok with it if the money were actually used to subsidize healthy organic foods and treatment modalities that actually focus on lifestyle changes and disease prevention.”

“Absolutely yes!!”

“Yes. I support fat tax. Hopefully, it will have some impact on food company to change the practice of putting unhealthy fat on food.”

“Yes i think its a great a great idea, but only if all proceeds go strictly towards financing our healthcare plans, i also believe all taxes from smokes, alcohol, air pollutants should go towards healthcare thank you.”

“That is so ridiculous!!!! Just make it natural organic way instead with GMO and chemicals. More money is stuffed in the pockets of our Gov. Why not just tax the drug addicts while we are at it and the alcoholics. Wall street and the banks need more bailout money. So the best minds of our Gov invents another way to tax us to death. That is the way great counties cease to exist.”
--Peter Swierczek Shirley NY 11967

“Yes and I suggest a tax on sugar.”

“I vote the things that are by choice and not can opt out and benefit your health at the same time. Healthcare costs would be reduced because the people who curbed their consumption would be healthier.”

“Yes, let those people who are fat help support the cost of taking care of themselves at their current age and as they get older. Statistically, fat people cost more health wise.”

“If you want a big brother then yes. But I say NO. We do not need the Government telling us what to do, nor do we need the Govt adding more taxes for slush fund activities. Who really believe those taxes go where they are supposed to?”

“A fat tax or a sin tax will do nothing to solve poor eating habits. It is just another government scam to raise taxes and try to control our lives.”

“Yes But it has to be a real tax, with clearly defined definitions that do not have loophole you could drive a truck through. It should not be less expensive to eat food that is bad for you rather than food that is good for you.”

“Yes. If you have looked around at the fat children sipping the sugar laden sodas, something needs to be done to get the parents’ attention and it is usually in the pocketbook that gets their attention.”

“The federal government cannot constitutionally enact such a tax. Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution limits federal authority to only 18 distinct activities, however, social engineering is NOT one of them.”
--Mark Golden, West Palm Beach, Florida

“Yes! Especially if the funds collected were used for farming production and health-related awareness.”

“What a scam! Just another way for the government to get more money from us. There are plenty of skinny healthy people that drink soda and are fine with it. Unlike smoking, soda pop does not hurt others while you are doing it. If the person has a weight problem, taxing soda will not help either. You then need to tax candy, donuts, pizza, all restaurants will need to be taxed since if you check out websites even “healthy” salads can be high in fat and calories. Even when we try to do right thing, it kicks us in the rear. Just a way to rip us off when education about nutrition and exercise is the best way to get people to take better care of themselves, not constantly taking money from us.”

“Absolutely --- at least $1 a can. That stuff is crap like cigarettes.”

“Do whatever it takes to encourage ALL people to stop drinking these dangerous-to-their-health drinks!”

“Absolutely, the tax should include all fast food restaurants.”

“Definitely! Some people will only eat properly if they are forced to by making fattening foods more expensive. (Enlightened self interest) Besides, people who are overweight (because of their bad eating habits) cost the rest of us money because their overeating creates medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes. That increases the cost of medical care and insurance.”

“Absolutely not! The audacity of the whole idea is horrifying. The absence of believable argument that it would work, the ambiguous nature of what to target, and considering who would be making those decisions...make it an unconscionable grab for power, control, and money. The tobacco analogy is flawed, also. As much or more than the taxes, it has been the social stigma, awareness of health hazards, and the loss of comfortable smoking locations that slowed that train down.”

“Since the consumption of foods that are clearly unhealthy contribute significantly to obesity-related illnesses which, as stated in your article, "currently cost the U.S. close to $150 billion a year," I think a "fat" tax would be an excellent idea.”
--Barbara Ocala, FL

“No. We need more education.”

“Yes, maybe it would make manufacturers of these destructive foods make healthier options for people to buy.”

“It makes more sense to tax a non-necessary and unhealthy item than to add more burdensome taxes to essential items. Buying soda is an individual choice like buying cigarettes. If additional taxes have to be added, soda is a good item to tax.”

“NO... Has the tax on cigarettes stopped people from smoking? No Has new tax on cigarettes slowed the number of people smoking? very little Has the tax money been spent for education and health care for those who smoke? who knows The same would happen on a "fat tax".... just more taxes and nothing to show for it.”

“Yes, absolutely.”
--Marian, Tempe, AZ

“Absolutely not! Why should the government benefit from how people eat and on soda. really. my daughter’s school took out all soda and added juice the sugar in the juice is worse than in pop and in turn causes diabetic issues. plus every meal they have is battered and deep fried. the government needs to back off!”

“Yes, at once.”

“Yes, I think there should be a huge tax on fast food and unhealthy processed foods. The money generated would help pay for health care. To me, this tax would be the simplest way to add revenue and help improve the health of people.”

“Sounds like a typical Govt. solution. Tax the fatties into starvation. Why not hook them up to treadmills to generate electricity for the power grid?”
--Billy Bob Corryton, Tennessee


“Most definitely. We are taxed on everything else. This would be beneficial. How it targets poor people is beyond me. They have choices of purchase.”

“As long as this collected money is used for education, starting as early as the pre-school/kindergarten age kids.... Education directed towards better eating habits and exercise programs... Unfortunately, the ones that will keep purchasing are the ones that need to quit buying the most... Just like tobacco and lottery tickets...”

“No. The motivation to avoid unhealthy food should be from information and desire, not added taxes. We already pay too many fees and taxes for too many items.”
--Elaine Vinzant Moline, IL.

“Yes, but it should be called a "sugary drinks" tax. And it should include all diet sodas and "fruit drinks" that contain more sugar water than juice too.”

Recommended Reading

WITHOUT A DIET: How to Lose Weight, Enhance Your Health and Find Well-Being by Nurturing Your Mind and Body

Warning: Your Soft Drinks and Favorite Snacks May be Loaded With Toxic Mercury

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