Time for a junk food tax?
“The need is indisputable,” argues Mark Bittman in today’s New York Times, “since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet (SAD).“
Taxing junk food, Bittman explains, would reduce unhealthy consumption and generate billions of dollars that could be used to make healthy food more affordable and accessible.
For example, increasing the price of soda by 20 percent could result in a 20 percent decrease in consumption, which in the next decade could prevent about 1.5 million Americans from becoming obese and avoid 400,000 cases of diabetes. Bottom line, that one step would save nearly $30 billion in healthcare costs.
Now there’s a budget-reduction plan that we could sink our teeth in. Boehner and Obama take note.
To learn more, read the rest of Bittman’s analysis here.