Junk Food Tax Could Curb Obesity Trend

A junk food tax would be effective in reducing obesity rates and improving the overall health of the country, a new study suggests.

We Americans love our junk food, but all those empty calories are hurting our pocketbook in the form of skyrocketing health care costs to treat medical conditions related to obesity, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Now, a new study indicates that putting a tax on junk food could help reduce obesity rates and improve our nation’s health – both physically and fiscally.

Across the country, a growing number of cities and states want to reduce consumption of sugary drinks by taxing them. And they’ve got the data to back it up. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say that as the price of sodas and other junk foods rise, people tend to consume less, and their body weight and overall calorie intake also appear to decrease.

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A recent study examined more than 5,000 adults who were ages 18 to 30 at the start of the study in 1985.  Researchers followed the participants’ weight fluctuations and dietary changes over 20 years, and also compiled food price data for the same timeframe.

Researchers estimate based on their findings, that an 18 percent tax on foods like pizza, fast food and soda would result in a decline of about 56 calories in one day. This would correlate into a weight loss of about five pounds per year, they said.

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