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Fat-tax debate rages on in U.S.


September 2, 2009
By Laura Aiken


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September 2, 2009 – The Ontario government backed down from a
proposed fat-tax on restaurant meals in 2004, but the issue is becoming vocalized
south of the border. Will calls for a junk food penalty gain momentum in Canada
as well?



Lisa Baertlein of Reuters news agency penned a good analysis of the public
health debate that could see cheap food cost more in America. Both sides of the
ongoing debate seem to have merit. People are becoming obese at a rapid rate
and must be deterred from high-calorie nutrient poor foods by making them more expensive
but doing so also hurts low income shoppers.

I don’t think another dime or even a quarter tacked on to the price of a soft drink will
deter anyone who really wants one. It will just make consumers grumble more
about eating out as prices go up. Any government in Canada would have
to be awfully nervy to even bring it up after the HST announcements in Ontario
and B.C. However, should a fat-tax be successfully passed in the U.S., I’m sure
our governments will be watching the fallout and most importantly, the
revenues.

Obesity is a growing and complex epidemic
in North America, there is no doubt about that. Is an additional tax really a
viable part of the solution? I doubt it.     

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