“Fat taxes” – does increasing price curb consumption? Print

“Fat taxes” – would raising the price of foods deemed unhealthy, curb consumption?

Listen to my QR77 Radio Program here:

Every monday at 4:15pm on QR77 Radio join me and Angela Kokott host of Calgary Today with our segment “You are what you eat” to get the goods on healthy eating. If you missed my segments I will be archiving these audio discussions on my blog here.

Episode 13 – “Fat taxes” – would raising the price of foods deemed unhealthy, curb consumption?

Listen to Episode 13 here: “Fat taxes” – would raising the price of foods deemed unhealthy, curb consumption?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/fat-tax-would-have-to-be-a-whopper-to-work-study-says/article2434353/?from=sec431 

Some health advocates have suggested we should tax junk foods with higher taxes to help promote consuming other more healthful choices but does it work?

Adding high taxes onto cigarettes has significantly decreased the number of smokers so in theory it may help to do the same with foods.

Hungary and Denmark have small “fat taxes” and France has a small tax on sweetened beverages but a new research study suggests the taxes would need to be bigger to have a great effect.

A new paper published in the British Medical Journal this month suggested that unless taxes were added at 20% or more it is unlikely to have a broad impact on society health such as reducing obesity and cardiovascular disease.

BENEFITS:

  • The money collected could be put into subsidizing healthy food such as fruits and vegetables since the cost of food in general is a challenge for many Canadians.
  • It may decrease consumption of high-sugar, high-fat food items (although I believe people will still eat their favorite junk food since taste is the number one reason people choose food by the vast majority of Canadians.

CHALLENGES: 

  • How do we determine which foods would be subject to the “fat tax” or “sugar tax” and which foods would not? This sounds easy but is a very complex debate since no one food  contributes to health issues.  We can’t simply label single foods as bad choices since there are no bad foods, only bad diets as a whole.

Other thoughts on the price of food:

While there are certainly many people that struggle financially to put food on the table, these statistics show some of us may be prioritizing other things higher than healthy food.  Perhaps we don’t need a tax to improve our consumption habits but a shift in how we prioritize spending.


About Andrea Holwegner

CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker

Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more

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Adele Fox, Psychologist
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Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
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Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

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Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
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Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
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