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Debate Info

23
33
yes no
Debate Score:56
Arguments:39
Total Votes:57
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Argument Ratio

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 yes (17)
 
 no (22)

Debate Creator

sierrastruth(524) pic



Is a fat tax a good idea?

The argument is that if there was a tax on unhealthy foods then people would be less likely to eat it. This may or maynot be true but is it a good idea or is it the start of a slippery slope.

yes

Side Score: 23
VS.

no

Side Score: 33
3 points

If we tax shit food, then maybe food from the HealthFood store won't be so expensive it's bankrupting.

So I'd like to see one.

I love HealthFood store food. It's FAR more delicious then all unhealthy food I've had and, somehow, it magically makes you feel better. Seriously. It's not funny how healthy and tasty it is at the same time. It might we well be wizardry.

The only problem is the cost of it in comparison to obesity-creating lard food.

Honestly, it's not because this HealthFood is exotic. It's not. The problem is the monopoly on food that fast junk food has. HealthFood doesn't have the ability to create a monopoly because it can't afford to manufacture the food as lightning speed without it become more junk food.

Since this cannot be accomplished, instead, HealthFood stores have to jump their prices to bankrupting levels to even keep inventory and not go out of business.

The only good thing about these huge prices are that they emphasize the high-quality of these delicious, magically healthy wonders from the HealthFood store... but ultimately, the quality isn't worth it when you're on a budget.

So, I'd like to see a fat tax. The money the government gets from this tax would go towards making all food healthier and current HealthFood store food cheaper.

Side: yes
casper3912(1576) Disputed
1 point

There would have to be a short time period between inflation in cheap unhealthy food and deflation in expensive healthy food in order for the change to not put too much of a strain on the poor.

Would the government be able to insure such a heavy strain wouldn't occur on the poor, since the fat tax would be a sur charge on the sales tax, which sales taxes are regressive.

In the long run it may result in cost savings via having less health problems and lower insurance premiums but the likely short term results will likely result in people voting against having it for the needed time frame for the long run results to come into effect. What type of program could the government due to diminish the short term effects?

Side: No
chatturgha(1644) Disputed
1 point

There would have to be a short time period between inflation in cheap unhealthy food and deflation in expensive healthy food in order for the change to not put too much of a strain on the poor.

Then obviously we should fix starvation before we fix obesity.

Then again, why would it put a strain on the poor? What if the fat tax was on the corporation manufacturing the food and not the consumer of it?

Those assholes need more taxes anyway. Why not tax them for having more manufacturing efficiency at the cost of people's health?

Would the government be able to insure such a heavy strain wouldn't occur on the poor, since the fat tax would be a sur charge on the sales tax, which sales taxes are regressive.

The first half of the sentence felt broken as a read it. Please restate?

What type of program could the government due to diminish the short term effects?

First I'll have to know what the short term effects are. I don't know if I'm old or if you're just not writing very well, but I'm having trouble understanding your sentences.

Side: yes
1 point

is the government actually claiming that they can and will make health food cheaper? Or do you mean that when crap food is taxed the health food wont seem as expensive because all food will be expensive?

I think healthy food is delicious (and so are some unhealthy foods) but your logic is confusing me, how will taxing one thing make another thing cheaper?

Side: No
chatturgha(1644) Disputed
1 point

I think healthy food is delicious (and so are some unhealthy foods) but your logic is confusing me, how will taxing one thing make another thing cheaper?

Well you're probably right that I'm not thinking properly, but my reasoning is sound. I just can't help but think of economics from a totally different viewpoint from everyone else in the world, meaning that our economics works based on most of everyone else's imagination, not mine.

Side: yes
2 points

Well, I do think that taxing unhealthy foods could help the situation in the US. It is a well know fact that healthy foods cost more to purchase than junk or less healthy foods. Additionally, if we somehow got grocery stores to offer drive through window service for the quick fruit/veggie fix, we might find that people will end up eating less garbage.

But, I dn't think we will see that in my lifetime...but there is always hope!

Side: yes
1 point

If governments raise taxes for alcohol and cigarettes, that will somehow decrease the consumption of these products. That can actually work with the junk food, however the possibility of such projects equals to zero. But I think it's a great idea

Side: yes
1 point

Why is it the governments job to stop us from eating junk food? why cant individual citizens decide what is best for themselves or are we all just undisciplined, overindulgent idiots who need someone to tell us what to do?

I remember not to long ago that some study came out with the conclusion that milk was bad and caused Cancer and altimeters. Later studies came out debunking this. For a while people thought (and some still do) that all fat is bad now we "know" that fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. We used to think eating three meals a day was health now it is said we should eat five small meals. Why is the government an all knowing entity that knows whats best for us.

What happens when they decide that caffeine is to "bad" for us to have. Keep in mind that caffeine is in not only coffee (which i love) but also in chocolate and many teas. If you make caffeine to expensive then you may not ever get to have delicious (health) meals and drinks that are made with these ingredients.

thats not even touching how such taxes would destroy some American industry's and consequently employees and eventually employment taxes.

The only benefit it would have for anyone is the satisfaction of some knowing they are influencing the lives of everyone. Thats greed and corruption in my book.

Side: No
sundari(44) Disputed
1 point

I agree that it's up to everybody to decide what to eat. But the harm of junk food is obvious and obesity became not only individual problem. Heart disorder is becoming most wide spread sickness. It's not about controlling people's mind, it is just a probable solution. I mentioned taxing but not banning junk food. So government's job will be just taking taxes like they do for tobacco and alcohol. Heart disorders, by the way, is same dangerous as lung cancer

Side: yes
Liber(1730) Disputed
1 point

If governments raise taxes for alcohol and cigarettes, that will somehow decrease the consumption of these products.

My first objection is to your use of the word "somehow". If you know not how such a tax will decrease consumption, then how can you be sure that it shall?

That can actually work with the junk food

Somehow, right?

The result of such a tax: poor people, people who rely on "junk food" because healthy food is just so damn expensive, will not be able to eat as much, or they will become even poorer still trying to pay for all their food.

But I think it's a great idea

You think that it is a great idea to give yourself over to the government and allow their whims to dictate every aspect of your life?

Side: No
sundari(44) Disputed
1 point

First, talking about obesity I did not think only about US. In different countries tax increasing works differently. For instance, in my country, in Kazakhstan, cigarettes are very cheap, so almost every citizen smoke. But if government raise taxes for them, teenagers, for example will stop smoking simply because they will not afford it.

Second, junk food is a huge business and takes bigger part in market comparing with healthy food. Macdonald's, KFC, Subway are wide spread while there is no such popular healthy food restaurants. Fat tax will give a chance for healthy food business development, there will be more of them and that will lead to lower prices.

Side: yes
1 point

The people on the "no" side are probably all sitting at home, enjoying their pizza and fries or whatever. now, that's no problem - i do that sometimes! the key thing to remember is that it is a treat. once a month maximum on unhealthy food is fine. but if you go around eating it every second day - AND feeding it to your children? well that it just wrong - it's teaching your children that to grow up eating these foods all the time is fine! children dont know what they eat - they get it given to them and they eat it. when they start to make the decisions themselve is what you have to look out for. up until they understand some things are healthy and some aren't you have to prepare them. you know that you have prepared them wrong if they say "Mommy i want a cheeseburger" instead of saying "Mommy, can i please have an apple?" Do you know how many children are bullied because of the choices their parents have made for them? because they CHOSE to give their child grease-filled STUFF instead of wholesome REAL food, that existed before we had to create it. i am not trying to tell you how to raise your children...how can i when im just a sixteen year old teenager? but you know what? i know that if i eat sugar and fat stuffed food that my body will degenerate, i may get diabetes, have cholesterol problems, and even heart failure - my parents didnt want that to happen to me because they dont want me to die at the age of 50 - they wanted to educate me to the reality of treating your body well. if there is a fat tax then the choice of not getting junk food easier to make. Truthfully, obesity sickens me, but what sickens me more are the parents that torture their children with it.

Side: No
1 point

I agree with you. Children obesity is even worse. Since video games, tv and social networks replaced outdoor activities and live communication and junk food became the first choice, obesity has all chances to be one of the main problems. It's so sad to see how parents refuse to take responsibility claiming that "people should have freedom to choose".

Side: yes
Liber(1730) Disputed
1 point

The people on the "no" side are probably all sitting at home, enjoying their pizza and fries or whatever.

No, I generally prefer fruit.

now, that's no problem - i do that sometimes!

But you want the government to penalize you for doing so, right?

the key thing to remember is that it is a treat.

What makes it a treat?

once a month maximum on unhealthy food is fine.

Do you have some empirical evidence to back up this claim?

but if you go around eating it every second day - AND feeding it to your children? well that it just wrong - it's teaching your children that to grow up eating these foods all the time is fine!

Any proof that it isn't fine?

children dont know what they eat - they get it given to them and they eat it.

I take it you don't have any children. Most can be very, very picky.

when they start to make the decisions themselve is what you have to look out for. up until they understand some things are healthy and some aren't you have to prepare them.

I pretty much agree with this.

you know that you have prepared them wrong if they say "Mommy i want a cheeseburger" instead of saying "Mommy, can i please have an apple?"

So you expect kids to want an apple for dinner, rather than a real meal?

Do you know how many children are bullied because of the choices their parents have made for them?

No, I don't. I don't think that you do, either.

because they CHOSE to give their child grease-filled STUFF instead of wholesome REAL food, that existed before we had to create it.

What do you expect for every kid to eat? Broccoli and cucumber?

i am not trying to tell you how to raise your children

You're not, but you want the government to do so, via a "fat tax".

Side: No
1 point

Some parents are bad parents , some parents are ignorant and some are to poor to afford to have children but they do and really they choose to be the kinds of parent they are. However the majority of parents try their hardest to do right by their children and some dont do it the way your parents did. Do you really want to be the ultimate decider on how other people should raise their children because even though you claimed you dont that is basically what you are saying you want to do.

Side: No
1 point

Actually we pay taxes on all kinds of Food already. This hasn't stopped the junk in the trunk!!!

Side: yes
1 point

I think it's a good idea in theory, but too difficult to implement. Most food has some fat, and the measure varies, how do you calculate the tax? Sugar is actually far worse than fat, especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Sugar makes you fat in 2 ways, directly by converting to fat when consumed in excess, indirectly by increasing your appetite for fatty foods. I say tax added sugar, particularly HFCS. If the price of HFCS is similar to cane/beet sugar, then manufacturers will be be less likely to use it. It is easier to implement than a fat tax.

Side: yes
5 points

There's no evidence increasing taxes is a deterrent to doing something, cite smoking.

In addition, the obese are overwhelmingly more often from poor areas and on lower income rungs, making them less able to pay these additional taxes.

Stating it as a deterrent isn't a good argument. A better one would be, obesity costs this country a lot of money, so it's a way of getting some of that back.

Something should certainly be done about how disgusting and fat Americans are getting, I'm not sure that is the answer however.

Side: No
3 points

To me, Sin tax is as unjust as most other taxes, no matter what the sin is.

Hell, if we view murder as to be the worst thing possible, why aren't murderers being taxed? Instead, we just feed them and give them shelter... with taxes from people eating food that skinny white liberal douchebags find to be of lower quality.

fuck them.

Side: No
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
1 point

How is it you equate "fat" with "sin?"

I don't see it as sinful to eat junk food, I see it as unhealthy. Regardless, I don't foresee implementing a tax on either of them to be ethical or even effective.

Hell, if we view murder as to be the worst thing possible, why aren't murderers being taxed?

I think you might be missing the point. The fat tax concept is an attempt to reduce the obesity rate of the country, not because it’s sinful to be fat, but because it’s unhealthy. Personally, I can understand the motive behind the ‘fat tax,’ just not the method.

Instead, we just feed them and give them shelter... with taxes from people eating food that skinny white liberal douchebags find to be of lower quality.

The fat tax is one that has yet to be implemented to a degree which would lead to any significant involvement to any publicly funded program, especially prisons. And it is not that ‘skinny white liberal douchbags’ find the food to be lower quality without any documented research, it’s a well known fact that the vast majority of fast food is unhealthy, that’s why it’s called junk food.

I think that you and I would agree that a ‘fat tax’ is a bad idea, but I think its safe to say that our reasons for it differ greatly.

fuck them.

Yea, well I say the same about disgusting fat fucks. And I don’t want them to be fucked by way of having their precious biscuits and jelly taxed, instead I would like to see people stop caring about how gargantuan they get and let them eat eat eat all they want. Let them continue to grow and fatten up like bigs for the slaughter, but here's the kicker: Don’t change society to fit their needs. Don’t make the doors to buildings bigger, don’t make cars or clothes bigger. Just let them get fat and suffer for their mistakes, see if I give a shit. Rutheless? I don’t care... fuck’em

Side: yes
ThePyg(6761) Disputed
3 points

Sin tax is any tax on products that people find to be bad for you. Same goes with cigarette and alcohol taxes.

And much of the documentation that is anti-fast food comes from the fact that Fast Food restaurants use transfat (that is, in fact, how they conduct their studies, they don't even use actual fast food). Trans Fat was pushed on by the same organizations that attacked it for using unsaturated fats (which is why they switched). Of course the result ended up disastorous, but to suggest that this automatically makes fast food worse for you than going to a nice sit-down restaurant is very unlikely. An entree at a nice restaurant will give you far more calories than a combo at a fast-food restaurant. The difference tends to come from the fact that people will often get these fattiest foods from fast-food restaurants and can eat at them more often (since they are far cheaper than a nice, sit-down restaurant).

Fat Head presents issues on anti-Fast Food propaganda that we see often. As well, I looked for criticism on this film to see if any of the claims were even questionable and only found reviews praising the film.

I know, eventually, you'll find someone who will attack it, but for a documentary, looking up criticisms should be easy.

The answer is simple. Fast food doesn't make you fat. Food abuse, in general, does. Same thing with how alcohol doesn't give you liver disease. Alcohol abuse, in general, can.

Side: No
2 points

Some people might have a wrong idea that establishing the fat tax might reduce people's interest to buy unhealthy food. However, I believe that most people eat unhealthy food such as fast food and junk food are because people like those foods' taste and those food are convenient to eat. In statistic, poor people tend to eat unhealthy food while wealthy peolpe are willing to pay more money to eat organic healthy food. The reason why poor peolpe usually eat unhealthy food is because they couldn't afford those expensive organic food. Also, food is essential for everyone to maintain their lives,so if the government establishes the fat tax policy, people would probably have to pay much more to buy food.In my opinion, I think there are so many better way to do instead of raising the food price. Far example, the government should spend more resources to educate people not to eat unhealthy food for their heath because education is that best way to change people's behaviar. All in all, I don't think establishing the fat tax is the best way to change our fat issue.

Side: No

I think its a horrible idea that is an attempt to control the masses and to fit everyone into their idea of "how things should be". The affect this would have on the freedoms of Americans and the free market is immense and obviously not considered by the greedy idiots in charge. This tax would open the door for more such taxes based on the options of the few. Sadly I have met quite a few people who think its a good idea, so if your one of them lets debate it and if your not let me know so I know I'm not the only one.

Side: No
1 point

Fat tax on fast food doesn't make a difference because of conveniency. People work have short hour breaks and they want to get something to eat fast. They see eating fast food as a way to fill their stomach quickly so they can get back to work faster without being late. The people think also buying fast food is cheaper than buying healthy food also.

Side: No
sundari(44) Disputed
2 points

But fast food can be healthy too. Instead of cheeseburgers and hot-dogs people can have sandwiches or French baguettes or porridge, apples and bananas can replace junk snack. As for prices, if there is fat tax, the cost for healthy food will decrease

Side: yes
Jaysonn(10) Disputed
1 point

You think the food is healthy? Just cause it's cheap you are eating processed foods. It's not technically healthy.You are not getting enough nutrition from the food you are eating. Therefore, the cost of healthy food will stay about the same it will not falter in any way. People these days try to eat healthy rather than then eat junk food to fill their stomach.

Side: No
1 point

I think that taxes should not be taxed on food it should just be tax on things that are not really that necessary. For example on cigarettes liquor things like that but things that are important should not be taxed !

Side: yes
2 points

I think the government just does it to make money off the tax payers. I mean we get taxed enough from our paychecks, why would they hurt us more taxing us on food and beverages?

Side: No