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Tax Junk Food to Fight Obesity?

Tax Junk Food to Fight Obesity?
September 9, 2009 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Must of us have heard the startling statistics on obesity; nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. But it’s especially troubling to consider that nearly 18 percent of adolescents in the U.S. are obese. Unfortunately, that will mean rising rates of chronic illness for many of these young people.

The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council recently offered a number of suggestions to curb childhood obesity, and among them was increasing taxes on sugary drinks. While this approach is sure to be controversial, it’s hard to deny that many of the cheapest food options are also the unhealthiest.

Some experts argue that taxes on cigarettes have discouraged their use, so why not soft drinks? Is this Big Brother watching over us, or is it a reasonable measure to encourage healthy choices? I’d love to hear what you think.

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