List of Pros and Cons of a Fat Tax

Recently a debate has sparked as to whether or not there should be a specific tax applied on top of certain foods that are considered unhealthy and that contribute towards obesity on the general population. This tax would be placed in foods that we’ve all heard about such as crisps, deep fried products, chocolate and others. In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of such tax, known as the “fat tax”.

List of Pros of a Fat Tax

1. Make People Pay for Being Unhealthy.
The first pro that comes into someone’s mind is that the fat tax is going to make people pay a social cost for eating unhealthy food and as such, they would pay for being unhealthy. Ethically, this would be pretty much like imposing a tax on alcohol or tobacco. It would basically act as a cost that is going to make people help themselves by taking a little more money out of their wallet whenever they want to hurt themselves with unhealthy food.

2. Encourage a Better Diet.
If a fat tax is placed on top of unhealthy products, the price of these products is going to rise above the price of products that are healthier for people. As such, this is going to encourage a healthier diet since people will eventually be saving money by eating in a healthy way.

3. Increase Government Revenues.
If unhealthy products are taxed and if the current obesity levels are maintained, the amount of money the government could raise out of a fat tax is ridiculously huge – huge enough to make significant changes in our society. The amount would be so big that it would be possible to decrease the value of the VAT.

List of Cons of a Fat Tax

1. Some Products Could Be Deemed Unhealthy, When They’re Not.
It is hard to tell what products would deserve a fat tax, since a lot of healthy products can be unhealthy if they are consumed in large amounts, but incredibly healthy when consumed properly. One of these examples is cheese, and there would certainly be a debate as to whether or not cheese would get the fat tax.

2. Administrative Costs.
Collecting taxes from unhealthy foods would certainly have a lot of administrative costs attached to it. On top of that, a lot of corporations would certainly oppose this tax and that would create large amounts of costs if these companies decide to take action against the tax.

3. There Are More Factors to Obesity.
While applied a tax to fat foods would help fight obesity, there are a number of other factors involved such as poor portion sizing, generic factors and no exercise being practiced.