New York thinking of doing an Obesity Tax

United States
December 19, 2008 9:23am CST
Yep you heard me right. They want to put a heavy tax on foods with high sugar and fat levels. Like sodas and junk food. that way if you are paying more for it you will buy less. They said it would help to drop obesity rates in this country. Personally I think they are just trying to put more money into the state budget by taxing items most people buy. What do you think, should you have to pay more in taxes for sodas and chips? Is it the governments jobs to try and "make" (or manuplicate) you buy less of something just because it is not good for you? Tell me what you think.
7 people like this
20 responses
@hottysun (10)
• India
20 Dec 08
This has to be one of worst idea I've ever heard.Why should I be taxed for drinking regular soda while those who choose to drink diet soda get free pass? Aren't they both unhealty in one way or another?
• United States
20 Dec 08
Poison Symbol - They should put this on ALL diet foods.
hottysun, Perhaps they are promoting the consumption of diet sodas because they know that diet sodas will put more people in the hospital?Sugar substitutes are poison. Ever notice how they all come out as being harmless, until a few years later someone figures out it's harmful, then they release another one they claim is harmless? It's a racket. Happy MyLotting!
@sharra1 (6342)
• Australia
20 Dec 08
Diet soda is bad for you and so is the sugar in the soda. I think it would be better is they used less sugar instead of fake sugar. I think they should also use less fat or at least have to warn people how many calories are in the food before they buy it. I was shocked when I found out that my favourite iced coffee had well over 1000 calories in it. That is a third to half daily calories for an office worker in just one drink. I found out because I was trying to diet and someone had analysed it. I loved that coffee but I have never shopped at gloria jeans since and that was 10 years ago. There must have been a lot of sugar in it.
• China
20 Dec 08
i believe it is a good thing . food with more fat will cost you more money in future .this taxing policy can reduce the extra medical cost.
• United States
20 Dec 08
Medical Symbols - I just wanted to dress-up my response a bit with some medical symbols.
josephjota, I'm not quite following your logic here. How is this taxing policy going to reduce the extra medical costs? Thanks
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
19 Dec 08
Why not lower the tax on veggies and salad stuff? Why not give free memberships to lose weight clubs? Why not have Richard Simmons or a weight loss guru show up in the poor people's neighborhood and get them interested in getting better health? It is all right to raise taxes on junk food, but if they are unable to buy more healthful food because they have not lowered its cost, what good is it? They could promote a community garden and get the people to have a little patch so they could grow better food to eat.
• United States
19 Dec 08
I guess my point is it is none of their business what people decide to eat so they need to stay out of it.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
19 Dec 08
So lilwonders456 I am not worthy of a response from you.
• United States
19 Dec 08
People who are really obese from eating too much junk food will likely just cut out whatever healthier food they do eat in order to afford the junk food they are practically addicted to. And you're right, if junk food prices go up, but healthy food prices remain high, then it will hurt us all.
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
21 Dec 08
Great. As if things weren't expensive enough in New York. ...well SOMETHING's gonna pay for that heavy surveillance system they have in that state. As if there's not enough corruption and crime going on...lets just spit in the eye of the poor who're lucky to even be able to pay for junk food and in the faces of those who manage to stay healthy and like to treat themselves on occasion. It's NOT the place of the government to try to influence how we eat. If we're killing ourselves, that's our business. If people want to change that, then by God they should start putting the pressure on the companies that make food, grocery stores, and start promoting healthy living dangit. It's made a little headway in that the movement's at least laid roots with these last few years... Remember prohibitionist times in history? Lets not try something worse than that, eh? ..taxing something people consume is a sure way to make it flourish, anyway. At least via crime and alternative means of getting at it if they pursue it aggressively.
• United States
22 Dec 08
This is just another scheme to collect more tax dollars. THey know people will not stop buying them. SO therefore it is a good thing to tax higer...you get more money.
• United States
23 Dec 08
Blah. I daresay then that New York's government has gotten rather bold!
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
20 Dec 08
Fruits and veggies aren't taxed because people need to eat. Up until recently no food was taxed then suddenly they found a way to tax junk food. Taxing junk food and raising the tax is just a way to get money into the states coffers. I like junk food. I'll buy it once in a while irregardless of cost. Why should I pay tax on a pack of chips and not an roll of bread? They are both food. They have the same number of calories. Why not tax dried fruit? It's very dense in sugars and calories. Why won't trail mix, dried fruits, halva, marzipan, peanut butter etc. be taxed when they are more calorie dense than soda or chips? I buy really small snack sized portions and not the huge "value packs" because I'm watching my weight. The small 100 calorie packs are hard to find. Most places only carry the larger 300-400 calorie packs or sell the small ones in a bundle for kids lunches. If they were really concerned with obesity they would have more small portion junk foods available. Once upon a time the small packs were the norm and the larger packs were called family packs. They were meant to be divided up and feed a whole family not just one person. It's really portion distortion that's casing obesity. What is now a fast food kids meal used to be a normal adult meal. I buy a kids Happy Meal at McDonald's a few times a year when I'm in the next town. (No Micky D's in my town) They actually ask if I want to super size it. Huh? No! I don't want to super size it and double or triple the calories. I order a kids meal because it's an appropriate portion for an adult. I would love to have 3 times the amount of french frys for a few cents more but it's to many calories. I love french frys. They are a treat. But I'm not about to eat 1000 calories of frys in a single sitting.
• United States
22 Dec 08
This new tax idea is just stupid. They just want the money. THey know americans will still buy what ever they want. In fact they are counting on it so they can collect more tax dollars to waste.
• Israel
22 Dec 08
The tax won't stop anyone from buying what they want. If they were really concerned with obesity they would subsidize super healthy high fiber foods to encourage people to try them.
• United States
19 Dec 08
And you would be right too. I really don't think they care if you are fat or not. I don't think they care what we eat. What they do care about is how fat the state wallet is.
• United States
20 Dec 08
yep they only care about the size of their wallets not our waist lines.
• United States
21 Dec 08
They also care about the special interest groups that are telling them that obesity and other ways we don't take care of ourselves is the real reason for the health care problems and the costs of health care. They listen to special groups who have special interests. I think I am going to start a special interest group and raise money so we can back our candidates. The special interest of my group will be WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT!and getting rid of any politician who does not respect WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
19 Dec 08
Well the healthy foods are expensive so why not make the junk ones in the same line. Things are getting bad and they need to implement something and this is the only way to put some money back in the kitty. Remember that it has been depleted. I am only sorry for those who can only afford these things. And then again people should start go back in the cooking days. Having a nice meal for the children when they come home from school. Mixing those nice natural juices. These kids nowadays don't know about these living and need to be able to fight these diseases that is going around. The Immune Systems need to be build back.
• United States
19 Dec 08
sorry I did not mean to skip you. I have a few other discussions going and I was bouncing back and forth. It was not on purpose. Now as to your response...... you are right that organic and healthy foods are more expensive. You also add to that that most families are busy and want fast meals. So they do not always go with what is healthier. If they want to save money they can do what I did. I put in a garden this past summer. not a big one but it helped. Also I cook meals. Everyday. We eat our very rarely (birthdays and such). I agree that kids need to eat better in order to be healthy. But it is not the governments responsibility to make sure this happens it is the parents. Give the kids an apple for a snack instead of a twinkie (my kids do not even know what a twinkie is). Give them oatmeal for breakfast instead of sugar coated cereal. But these are personal choices not the governments. they need to stay out of it completely. I agree that most of the states are hurting on money just like the american public is right now. But this new tax is just plain wrong. They are going to have to like the rest of us and tighten our belts and deal with what they have. Can you afford to pay more taxes? neither can most of us.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
19 Dec 08
Sorry to assume. I know that we don't like when Government come inside our home. But we elected them for a purpose. It is like in my country everyone got Americanized and because of this our farmers etc went down very hard. Now we have a change of Government and this one is telling us that we should eat what we grow. Now I don't have a problem with that because to tell you the truth the food that we received overseas are not that eatable. I am not against implementation of new things but it is how it is being done. Alot of businesses and persons who should be paying taxes cheated their way out of it and because of this Government officials of to think of ways to budget their financial year. Now if everyone obey by paying their taxes then these officials has to be honest with us irrespective of which countries they are from. We the citizens need to be more proactive and then these things that are happening will not be done so easily.
• United States
21 Dec 08
I really wish the government would butt out of our personal lives. Let the insurances companies charge a higher premium for people whose bad habits cause medical problems instead of taxing us. Not everyone abuses the use of sodas and junk foods. Besides, fat people don't have to eat junk to get fat. It's their bad habits and lack of exercise that cause obesity. When I was young and active, I use to order two of the fast food restaurant's big hamburgers and two fries and I never gained weight. It was when I stopped being active that I started gaining weight and I ate less. This reason for taxing is just an excuse for get more of New Yorker's money.
• United States
22 Dec 08
I agree. They should butt out of it. But they could careless about health issue. that is just the exucse so they can get more of our money.
@KrauseHome (35517)
• United States
21 Dec 08
Wow!! An obesity tax, or Tax on junk food. Well, that is unreal and how would they decifer from this. Here in WA state there is a Tax on Soda in the bottles, but no other Grocery items. Interesting how they can tax the Soda like this most places and it does not stop anyone. And how would they decipher what is Junk Food and what is not? This just for sure sounds like another way to easily fund someone else's pocketbook for sure while not caring about anyone else as well.
• United States
22 Dec 08
I agree.
@taface412 (3176)
• United States
21 Dec 08
Ask the smokers...we still buy them, maybe buy the cheaper ones, but we still buy them. It's the same argument I use for banning smoking....it's no one's right to choose how others live their life. It's funny because a while back when the controversy of the smoking ban came up everyone said the next thing would be obesity....because you know most non smoker's could care less since they do not smoke....but now they are going for the Fries...maybe they will think about how wrong it is for the government to impose such a ridiculous act of control.
• United States
22 Dec 08
Yep slowly but surely they are taking our everyday decisions from us or making us pay through the nose for them.
@brew2x (3096)
• Philippines
20 Dec 08
I hope that they are truly concern about peoples' health and not just trying to come up with something to increase their tax collection. I don't think that this will stop people from buying junk foods though.
• United States
22 Dec 08
It is just a way to get more money.
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
20 Dec 08
I don't think it has anything to do with your eating habits. It has to do with getting more of your money. Give them time and they'll tax you for blowing your nose or excreting gas.
• United States
22 Dec 08
Yep more crazy ideas on how to get more of our hard earned money.
@grammasnook (1877)
• United States
20 Dec 08
I am curious will they be taxing flour,chocolate,sugar, everything from the baking area if not the only sensible thing is make your own lol This is just rediculous and you are absolutely right the government has no say so what we eat. tsk tsk they should be ashamed of themselves. If I was in New York I would be slapping down a law suit just for the principle. I would think this is a form of prejudice against obese people.
• United States
20 Dec 08
hopefully the people of new york fight this tax
@ladybug565 (2217)
• United States
20 Dec 08
They did it not too long ago with the price of a pack of ciggarettes. $1.50 per pack increase. They say they want people to quit smoking but they know that they wont and that it is alot more money in the budget. I dont think the government has the right to make us buy less of something because it is not good for us. (and I dont believe they care) I believe it is 100% about the money.
• United States
20 Dec 08
Yep 100% money. you are right.
• Philippines
20 Dec 08
Maybe in the very short term this will work like for about a month. But after that people will crave again for the same old things. Even with the financial crisis, it's not as if New Yorkers are from a third world country like ours wherein a jump of a single dollar or cent and everybody will be affected.
• United States
20 Dec 08
they could care less about our waist lines. THey just are looking for ways to collect more tax dollars.
• United States
19 Dec 08
I think that the government is making it harder for us to make our own choices. Next thing you know they will want us to recieve permission to purchase gasoline or food so that they can decide if we need it and once they do what type of tax they should levy on it. Seems like that is all the government wants to do.
• United States
19 Dec 08
yep poor old us are too stupid to make our own decisions so they have to do it for us....plus take us for every dime they can. This is just getting out of control. Hopefully the people of new york tells their government where they can put this tax idea.
• United States
19 Dec 08
Frankly, I'd rather see them make foods that are healthy cost less. There are some programs that do that a bit - WIC for instance, which will pay for dairy products and whole grain cereals, but overall, food that is little more than empty calories tends to be the cheapest. It's a really sad fact that we're going to see obesity rates climb even higher as more families fill in their weakened food budgets with 39 cent mac & cheese and 19 cent ramen noodles. I think legislating diet is something like trying to legislate morality. If the additional taxes are earmarked for, say, nutrition programs for the public schools, I might actually be in favor of it. The fact is that if we can teach good nutrition to kids, we WILL raise a healthier generation with far lower health care costs for everyone in the country. But hey, I'm a loony leftie. What do I know?
• United States
19 Dec 08
I can see telling people they need to eat healthier but not taxing the junk food more. At the end of the day is each person's responsibility to decide what they eat. I see this as another government grab at getting more of our money.
• United States
19 Dec 08
LMAO!! That will never work. If making it cost more would stop people then there would be no smokers in the world either.
• United States
19 Dec 08
yep it is just another way to get more of your money in their pockets.
• United States
7 Jan 09
If they lowered the cost of healthy foods, it might make a slight difference.
• United States
22 Dec 08
It is faulty for them to think that all people who eat these types of things are obese in the first place. When I was about 20, I was able to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting and not gain weight. In fact, I had to eat things like that and sugary pop and such just to keep weight on. These days in my late 30's, my metabolism has slowed close to a normal person's, but still not quite. I can't eat a dozen donuts at once anymore, more like three or four, but it's still hard to get enough calories without eating these types of foods. So, they would penalize me when I am not obese and even if I were, it would be my business. And let me add that I also know people who are very obese and really truly do not overeat, at least not in my presence. I see them drink diet pop and eat low-calorie food. Many overweight people already try to lose weight, and again, yes, there are people who need to gain too!