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Will Taxing Soda And Pizza Solve The Obesity Epidemic?

Will Taxing Soda And Pizza Solve The Obesity Epidemic?

In the last few years, as the obesity epidemic heightens, researchers and scientists have been brainstorming on ways to help the nation slim down and get healthy.  One new idea coming from Kiyah Duffey and a team of reserachers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is to start taxing junk food items like soda and pizza.  The team believes that a tax on these types of high in fat and sugar items will make people think twice before purchasing them.

A recent report from Reuters discusses the research published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine about taxing soda and pizza.  According to the article the U.S. currently spends $147 billion a year in health costs due to obesity in Americans.  This hefty expense doesn ’t come as much of a surprise when you look at the current statistic that 2 out of every 3 Americans are either overweight or obese.  In the past, both the CDC and American Heart Association are now publicly supporting a tax on soft drinks.

But will a tax on these foods and drinks really make people stop buying them?  Duffey’s team believes it will.  After studying a group of over 5,000 people varying in age from 18 to 30 over a 20-year period, the researchers found that during this time when there was a 10 percent increase in pizza and soda costs, they saw a decrease in overall calorie consumption.  Individuals taking part in the study consumed 7 percent less calories from soda and 12 less from pizza when prices were up.  This led the team to believe that if there was something more substantial, like an 18 percent tax on these foods then we would see people’s daily calorie intake go down by about 56 calories.  That would add up to a weight loss of about 5 pounds per person per year. 

Duffey’s team goes on to further explain why a tax on pizza and soda can really benefit us as a country.  Duffey says, "While such policies will not solve  the obesity epidemic in its entirety and may face considerable opposition from food manufacturers and sellers, they could prove an important strategy to address overconsumption, help reduce energy intake and potentially aid in weight loss and reduced rates in diabetes among U.S. adults."

What do you think of the idea of taxing soda and pizza as a way to decrease the obesity rate in the U.S.?

Would a tax on these items make you think twice about purchasing them for you or your family?

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  • babyface239 By babyface239
    05.01.10  

    I really dont think putting taxes on these foods will make much difference cause if people like it they will still pay the price just like cigerettes

  • glittergoddess By glittergoddess
    05.08.10  

    I am against taxing junk food anymore then it already is. Having said that, I am offended that some people suggest that food stamps be limited in what items you can purchase. Allowing food stamps to purchase only certain items is punishment for being poor. Where should we draw the line. Should poor people not have a phone, a car? Should they live in squalor? Yes my family was on food stamps for about a year when I was little. It was used as a stepping stone, as I believe it should be. But I remember the criticism my mom received for every dime deemed unnecessary. You had to meet with someone frequently and account for any money you had and where it went. We didn't have a car so we had to alot bus money to get places, we were told this was an unnecessary expense and that we should walk. People with this attitude probably have never been poor a day in their life and therefore cannot possibly understand the stigma attached and how hard it is just to survive .

  • josmommy By josmommy
    05.09.10  

    i dont think it will fix the problem,i thinks its rediculous to expect people to change their habits with eating if they are not will to.it needs to be a decision we make on our own to eat better not because Junk is so expensive

  • djfields By djfields
    05.16.10  

    I think taxing this and that is only an excuse to make someone more money. The word obesity just seems to make it ok.

  • gardengenie By gardengenie
    05.19.10  

    It wouldn't help solve any of my household's weight issues - we're not big soda drinkers or pizza eaters.

  • mommaduck By mommaduck
    05.20.10  

    heck no, it wont matter to me. i like soda and i like pizza. I dont have a weight issue and regardless of the tax if my family wants it i will buy it. if you want people to stop buy it, then dont make it.

  • izzypup By izzypup
    05.27.10  

    I think this idea is silly. I don't think a tax on these foods will have any effect on anyone's weight. Besides what is wrong with pizza and soda as long as it is eaten in moderation.

  • JustRebecca By JustRebecca
    06.03.10  

    I don't think the government shoukd be telling us what we should and should not be doing with our bodies unless we are getting government support. Then it has every right because taxpayers are going to be footing the bill for diabeties and heart surgeries for obese people. If you get food stamps or any kind of government help then these foods should not be allowed period but I don't think taxing is going to stop people from buying it.

  • Ellayem By Ellayem
    06.05.10  

    Instead of taxing junk food, fast food, and soda, they need to cut the cost of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating healthy is expensive. It's much cheaper to grab something off of the dollar menu at any given fast food place than it is to pack your own lunch/make your own dinner. In today's economy, those cheap meals are enticing. Taxing these foods/drinks won't stop people from buying them. People still buy cigarettes, people still buy alcohol.

  • Innergy By Innergy
    06.08.10  

    Tax on junk food?! CRAZY. Where is the money going? Unless it's going to build a local community center/gym where people can get more involved with the community AND work out. Nice idea but it still won't prevent folks from eating pizza. Healthly folks eat pizza, it's all good in moderation. What about salads? Some dressings have more calories than a double cheeseburger!!

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