Obesity of the U.S. citizens as an extremely important issue for the society, and taxing of fatty foods as one of the most effective method to fight obesity in the light of government regulation are critically discussed in this paper. The opponents of fatty foods additional taxation are naturally representatives of the top management of the huge food-manufacturers and their lobbyists in the government. Regarding all flagrant statistical facts on obesity and its rates of growth, I think that government must implement taxing of fatty food and consequently promote a substantial increase in its price that could reduce consumption of these harmful products.
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Flegal, Carroll, Kit and Ogden (2012) stated that “68.8 percent of U.S. adults are obese or overweight”. Obesity is diagnosed among 35.7 percent of the U.S. adults. Ogden, Carroll, Kit and Flegal (2012) argued that approximately 15 percent of 2-5 year olds and more than 30 percent of school-age children are diagnosed obese or overweight in the U.S. Moreover, the situation is particularly worst for children from the low-income families. The figure of overweight or obese preschoolers from such families amounts to almost 31 percent.
Blasi (2003) underlines that child obesity is a challenge issue for the U.S. society. There is a vicious circle. Parents work hard to earn money for food and shelter. They work a lot, and, therefore, there is no time for preparing a healthy meal. Thus, money is spent on the semi-finished meal or snacks. In addition, left without attention children spend pocket money on visits to McDonald's. When implementing taxing on fatty foods, government should apply the Food Research and Action Centre (2012) data on the factors and consequences of the overweight and obesity for the U.S. children and adults. Heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and reproductive complications are only few examples of the obesity consequences. Campbell (2011) argues that the price hike that will be connected with the implementation of fatty foods taxing would cut consumption of sugared drinks and high-calorie foods forcing the consumers to choose healthier alternatives.
The opponents of fatty foods taxing, in particular the representatives of the transnational corporations led by McDonald's Corporation, emphasize that this may lead to nothing, because this situation will stay unchangeable. They emphasize that poor people from the low-income families, where there is the highest level of obesity statistically, will not have an opportunity to buy healthy food even after the introduction of the new tax and increase physical activity, which is directly related to obesity.
Such a position is very limited and protects the interests of the richest owners of fatty food producing and retailing having no desire to reduce their super-profits. Governmental regulation should be introduced. If numerous educational programs promoting healthy lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity and avoiding high calorie-density of foods do not reduce the trends in the development of obesity, it is necessary to apply more drastic measures. Campbell (2011) states that “imposing a 10% "fat tax" on sugary drinks would help tackle soaring rates of obesity”.
Obesity is one of the U.S. worst problems in the health realm. Government has to limit legislatively consumption of the fatty foods that is one of the most influential factors affecting the development of obesity in the geometric progression. Increased taxing applied to the fatty foods will reduce its consumption due to the increased price.
It should be stated, that if parents and adults as individual members of the society do not want to recognize the problem, the government needs to involve their wallets to understand that healthy food is cheaper and help to prevent obesity epidemic. Everyone has to realize that it is enough to fill up the companies’ and medical institutions’ budgets at the expense of one’s own health and future.
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