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Tag Archives: Obesity

!Obesity: Taxes In and Taxes Out

Today I am blog swapping with Anne at Unique Gifter. After you read this excellent post, click over to her site to get my take on some unique gifts you might not have considered. If you would like to guest post or blog swap, contact me! Recently, Kim wrote a post about obesity in the US and how it results in very high costs for everyone, due to preventable diseases and unnecessary health care costs.  One of the policy proposals floating around is the idea of taxing more unhealthy things, such as transfats or high fructose corn syrup.  My background is in economics, so I would like to talk a bit more about this idea. Taxes are both a means of raising funds for government and a policy tool.  Taxes are often structured to encourage or discourage behavior.  For example, retirement savings have various tax breaks, while cigarettes are heavily taxed.  The purpose of a soda tax would be to discourage people from consuming things which are not good for them, as well as increase government revenues as a way to offset all the costs due to ill-health.  However, how effective would such a tax really be? A hindrance to tax ...

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Obesity in America: What It Costs Us

Two generations ago my grandparents woke up before dawn and had a breakfast that might have consisted of bacon, country ham, eggs, plus bisuits and gravy made with lard. Then they went out to raise livestock and grow crops, stopping only for an equally sizeable lunch and dinner consisting of whatever they had butchered and grown that week. They ate heavy and worked hard. Farming takes lots of calories. Fast forward 60 years to the office worker stocking up on donuts, king size candy bars, and energy drinks at the convenience store on his way to work. These have to hold him over until he can hit the dollar value menu for lunch. He’s so tired after work, he will just pick up a pizza. Wow, you can get an extra one for only $5 more, plus double meat, sign him up! He really wanted to stop at the gym, but American Idol is on tonight, and he has to answer comments on the new blog he just started. Is it surprising that his pants were a bit too tight this morning? Obesity in America is a huge problem, and it’s getting worse. Some recent statistics from the Center for Disease ...

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