Debate Info

Yes No
Debate Score:17
Total Votes:19
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (6)
 No (9)

Debate Creator

Jammyme(5) pic

Junk food taxes

Do you think people should have to pay taxes when buying junk food? Do taxes put you off?


Side Score: 7


Side Score: 10
1 point

Yes. But I think the tax should be based on quality of food and payed in two equal parts. Half from the seller, and half from the customer.

The problem is that low income families are the people who eat fast food or junk food. And it causes health problems.

Those same low income families need medicare. So essentially the government pays for their indulgences.

It's not right.

Side: yes
1 point

(your argument is soo lonely.)

i agree with you completely(~) this is something that realy should be done, though i feel that this maybe should be done in conjuntion to a portion size as well. if you only have 4 fries it isn't bad for you. etc.

the only problem i see is, where do you drawl the line for what is fast food and what isn't.

at mcdonalds you get attrocious food fast, while at subway,pollo tropical, and miami subs, the food is of a better quality, but how do you decide the quality, is it based on nutritional value of a certain food item. what if it is ordered with no mayo or cheese? is the price reuced?

and what about non fast food, for the sake of my post, slow food restaurants. if a slow food restaurant has un healthy food do they pay the same tax? or is this just a vendeta against the poor? (whoops did i just say that)

and saying that fast food and madicare correlate is bs. fast food and low education/moral/all sorts of other factors play into it. if a rich person eats mcdonalds every day and they dont have medicare do they still pay the tax? now this tax is unfare! why should i pay for the government to provide medicare by paying taxes on fast food.

its a viscious cicrle.

Side: yes
Pineapple(1448) Disputed
1 point

This is what Congress is for.

I don't know. Subway is a great alternative for fast food. But it's not perfect. For instance you can get a veggie delight no mayo, or a meatball sub with two times cheese and a topping of mayo.

The meat is probably cheap and full of fat as cheap factory farmed meat is. I'm not sure though.

And you can get a side salad at Carls Junior. But you also get a huge bag or crutons and a big pouch of dressingcoughmayocough.

So I mean I guess it can't be done. But I wish it could. If someone could work out the kinks, it would be nice... but complicated.

Slow food restaurants can be packed with sodium and other bad things. They're not always better.

Fast food and low education/moral/all sorts of other factors play into it. if a rich person eats mcdonalds every day and they dont have medicare do they still pay the tax? now this tax is unfare! why should i pay for the government to provide medicare by paying taxes on fast food.

Well yes. Everyone should pay taxes for medicare. Even people who never use it. We support each other as fellow citizens. But the fact that low income families are drawing so much from medicare for reasons that can be prevented, I feel is wrong.

So it's essentially the same as a cigarette tax.

Side: yes

Nah, I mean, this is like the cigarette tax. It will only deter those who aren't super serious about it, and those people don't really need to be deterred, anyway, and will likely continue their routine. I very rarely eat "junk food," but, for example, I visited McDonald's at 2am on my way home from an AC/DC concert. Even if there were a tax, I would've stopped. These "punishment taxes" really don't seem too effective.

Side: No
1 point

They're not effective at all. I completely agree with you. I almost never eat fast food, but when I do, price is not an option. It's the cheapest food around to begin with and if I'm so hungry that I have to eat McDonald's (which I haven't in years :D), I'll just get the healthiest item on the menu, whether that's a chicken sandwich or a salad or whatever.

And cigarette taxes don't deter me from smoking- health risks deter me from smoking and I'm sure most people who don't smoke would say the same.

Side: No

Just for once I'd like to know where these taxes go to. What do they use these exorbitant taxes on cigarettes and gasoline for? I rarely eat junk food either but I would hate to see that over-taxed as well. I tire of the we're doing it for your own good mantra!

Side: No
1 point

There are two issues I see with a "junk food" tax.

Number one, bad food is not unhealthy in moderation. If someone runs a marathon, then eats a bunch of cheesecake, that's fine for them, and they don't need to be punished. Many people are perfectly healthy by balancing bad food with exercise and a healthy lifestyle in general.

Number two, it is very difficult to determine what is junk food and what is not objectively. Sure, we can all say "oh, well obviously McDonald's is bad", but creating a USDA regulation off of this is quite difficult, and encourages cheating to evade an extra tax.

Side: No
Pineapple(1448) Disputed
2 points

You can be skinny, and have other issues like high cholesterol and heart issues.

Just because someone looks healthy, doesn't mean that they are.

Side: yes
DEL681651(70) Disputed
0 points

I wasn't talking about weight. If you exercise, cholesterol and heart issues will not be problems. It isn't entirely about weight. People can be slightly (note I say slightly) overweight and still be perfectly healthy. The point is, just because you eat bad food doesn't make you unhealthy.

Side: No

This is in addition to your second comment.

The USDA is also a very ineffective institution, along with the FDA , if you look at the last 50 years of their history they've teamed up with the heavy hitters that are actually creating a lot of the "unhealthy" choices masked as healthy.

Taxes will not solve the problem. People need to make healthy lifestyle changes themselves. Education is one key element. Preventative health is the most effective means to eliminating and or preventing future disease and health problems.

Side: No
1 point

I don't like the idea of the gov't controlling any part of my life via taxes.

Side: No
1 point

no . it wont stop people from eating fast foods . it would just make their lives worse than it is now

Side: No

I don't think people should have to pay taxes on any food item.

Side: No