Imposing punitive taxes on certain food stuffs might achieve very little if any success in reducing obesity cases. these taxes might only be effective in raising the budget required to purchase various food stuffs, this might impact very negatively to several families especially the poor ones who will be forced to dig deeper into their pockets in order to sustain their food requirements and might in turn prove to be very expensive on them, making some to even go without some meals (Kumanyika, & Brownson, 2007).
Advocating of the imposition of taxes on certain food stuffs will in most cases only serve as a discouragement of consuming such food stuffs without providing a concrete reason to the individuals concerned why consuming such foods will raise their risk of suffering from obesity. People who fail to consume junk food due to the mere fact that they are expensive rather than the more important aspect of healthy eating habits will eventually consume them when they can afford to purchase them.
People with the purchasing power of such food stuffs will continue consuming them irrespective of their prices in the markets and thus to fully solve the problem of obesity, people’s awareness on the effect of such foods should be increased instead of merely using a taxing system which is only capable of treating the symptoms, while leaving the underlying disease intact (Crawford & Jeffery, 2005).
The role of deciding what to eat and what not to eat lies with the individuals thus punitive taxes would contribute much in altering the eating patterns of people and thus using taxes as a means of discouraging the consumption of certain food stuffs is only likely to be effective in the short run, but after some time people will get accustomed to the new prices and will revert to the old eating habits.
In any case the consumers are not only gullible but also highly vulnerable to the scheming actions of the food producers especially those in the industries for processing foods. The management of various industries processing junk foods which have been made more expensive by punitive taxes are likely top review their strategies so as to maintain their market share. They might increase their advertisements and thus promote the consumption of the same thus neutralizing the entire idea of imposing taxes on such food stuffs (Leicester, & Windmeijer, n. d. ).
Instead of restricting the consumption of junk food stuffs by use of such methods such as imposing taxes and restricting their advertisement in the media, it would be more effective to encourage those people in the food industry to make use of the available technology while processing various food stuffs so that they can reduce the content of calories in such foods and at the same time retain the good taste in such foods.
They can also be provided with certain incentives so as to reduce the processing of junk foods and concentrate more on producing more healthy foods. Such steps will highly reduce and regulate the availability of junk food in the market both in the short run and also in the long run since such actions are more sustainable as they include solutions adopted through consultations of all the stake holders concerned and thus each of them has a role to play in ensuring that junk food is eliminated from the market or is provided in the right contents of calories.
This is more doable than just having the federal authorities impose taxes on some food stuffs after branding them junk food. Such a move might not be very appealing to everyone and might in fact ruin the entire food industry thus introducing even more problems than the ones it was initially intended to solve. Therefore, the use of taxes would as a matter of fact amount to a win loose situation, it would be better to adopt a move that will result to a win win scenario such as incorporating the members of the food industry in so that both sides can win.
The food industry will provide food stuffs that are healthier and thus junk food will reduce in the markets (Crawford & Jeffery, 2005). Punitive taxes on various beverages and food products lead to only marginal increase in their prices and thus such measures will not be very significant in reducing the demand of such food stuffs and beverages. It therefore, means that use of taxes will not help in solving the problem of obesity as small increases in prices of food stuffs and beverages that they are fond of will not make them to shy away from consuming them.
Such people need to be told the truth behind consuming such food stuffs and beverages and not forcing or discouraging them to cease using them as this will not serve the purpose (Robinson, & Thomas, 2006). Conclusion Obesity is a serious health issue that should be addressed at all cost so as to reduce or even eliminate the problems that are associated with it, such as decreased life expectancy, and some diseases that are closely associated with obesity.
There is therefore, the need by the government to discourage the consumption of food stuffs and beverages that are likely to increase the risk of an individual to suffer from obesity. A very effective measure at the disposal of the government is imposing a punitive tax on foods and beverages that cause obesity. This will ensure that such products attract higher prices in the market and will therefore be less attractive. Their consumption will reduce significantly followed by decline in cases of obesity. Reference: Crawford.
D. & Jeffery, R. W. (2005): Obesity prevention and public health, ISBN 019856600X, Oxford University Press Kumanyika, S. K. & Brownson, R. C. (2007): Handbook of Obesity Prevention: A Resource for Health Professionals; ISBN 0387478590, Springer. Leicester, A. & Windmeijer, F. (n. d. ): THE’FAT TAX’: ECONOMIC INCENTIVES TO REDUCE OBESITY, Retrieved on 26th May 2009 from, http://www. ifs. org. uk/bns/bn49. pdf. Robinson, M. K. & Thomas, A. (2006): Obesity and cardiovascular disease, ISBN 1574448633, Taylor & Francis.