Essay about A Fat Tax: Economic Costs of Obesity are High

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Today's world is full of modern conveniences. Communication is at the touch of a button, you can drive right to the window and get handed a greasy, hot meal, and even walking has become bothersome. Trying to find that spot closest to the door is worth driving around the lot five times. Kids play more in virtual reality than outdoors, and parents who are strapped for time settle on quick, processed meals for dinner. Unfortunately, we've created an environment fit for the lazy. Instead of having to preform physical activities to function throughout the day, we must find time for physical activity, which might not be realistic for everyone. The fast food industry and quick processed dinners feed the consumer with no time for exercise, and the…show more content…
For example, a person could weigh 200 lbs at 5 feet and their BMI would be 39.1, while obesity is a BMI of 30 and above. But what if that person were a short body builder? BMI doesn't take into account the weight of muscle or bone density. Body shape is also of some importance; if someone has 50 extra pounds in their thighs they are at less risk for heart disease than someone with 50 extra pounds in their waist. Visceral fat, or fat located directly around the organs, is linked to many risk factors including insulin resistance. 26 million people in America have diabetes, and 90% - 95% of those are type two. According to the American Diabetes Association, 85.2% of people with type two diabetes are overweight. Economic costs of obesity are increasing and will continue to do so if nothing is done. Healthy Communities for A Healthy Future state that the estimated annual health care costs related to obesity are 190 billion dollars. This is 21% of total health care costs. This includes direct costs, such as preventive and treatment services, while indirect costs include income lost to days debilitated or future income lost to death. On an individual level, an obese person will cost 42% more in health care than a person of healthy weight. A tax directly related to products known to cause obesity would offset the cost of health care, and hopefully result in less obesity in the Nation. Deciding which foods would be taxed is a difficult process.
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