Essay on Fat Tax

2853 Words Aug 16th, 2008 12 Pages

Obesity is an epidemic that is sweeping the United States at a rapid speed, and it kills. Obesity is responsible for killing more people than anything else, except for smoking. It affects people of all ages, races, income levels, and geographic locations. Obesity brings with it a myriad of problems that the individuals who suffer from it face, as well as social problems that are felt by people in all walks of life. There are astronomical costs that are attributed to it, being paid by society in the form of medical fees, unemployment benefits, and other miscellaneous costs. This report proposes that these costs and problems need to be addressed, and one avenue through which they can be is a junk food tax. This report
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However, these issues will be positively affected by this proposal as well.

It is also important to note that this problem is not isolated to a specific group of individuals, although there are groups that are higher risk than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone can become obese but “…the risk for becoming overweight and obese tends to be higher among members of racial and ethnic minority populations such as African Americans and Hispanic Americans. In addition, the disease tends to be more common among individuals of lower socio-economic status” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005). This indicates that there are groups whose members are more likely to become obese. Because of the trend for junk food to cost less than more healthy alternatives, those who have less access to financial resources are more likely to be come obese.

As serious as obesity is, this issue is not a new one for our nation. Obesity has been a problem that has been addressed and studied since before the early 1930s, when doctors began to see a link between obesity and shorter life span (Pool, 2001, p. 7). Since then, and most noticeably in the last twenty years, obesity has swept our nation to become a condition that plagues more than 60 million adults in America, nearly one in three adults in this country (Figure 1). Jessica Bazzi, RN, stated that in

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