Should junk foods be priced out of business by “use taxes” with the promise of better health? That’s what is being implemented in a number of countries and being considered in the U.S. But in reality, aren’t we just driving the cost of government and food higher by considering another tax on the individual, rather than helping to solve a difficult health situation?
photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
I like the way Alexandria Sifferlin examined this issue in her article, “Study: A 20% ‘Fat Tax’ Would Improve Public Health.” With rising conditions of obesity, maybe now is the time to reevaluate our options. But I think care should be taken when “another tax” is placed on the public – use taxes have not always been effective.
Ms. Sifferlin takes a balanced view of this subject. She quotes Corinna Hawkes, a food policy and public health specialist at the Centre for Food Policy at City University in London, who states: “There remains a long way to go for food policies to reach their full potential to encourage healthier eating...”
No doubt health concerns surrounding obesity and unhealthy eating need to be addressed. Many articles are suggesting that the efforts be broad-based, including penalties for buying junk foods and rewards for eating well. But if the efforts to help Americans eat for better health are to be successful, recognition of spirituality as a driving force in decision-making should be included. I found a helpful quote in “5 Spiritual Concepts Western Medicine Must Embrace,” where the author states, “Studies have shown that individuals who attend church regularly live as many as 7 years longer than those who do not attend church. Other spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, prayer, and contemplation have all been associated with a decrease in negative health events and an increase in well-being.”