Should Junk Foods have a Tax?
After a long, tiring day of school, students opt for a quick, easy way to grab some food. A drive through seems like the quickest and easiest way to do so. But when teens goes to get fast food for quick purposes, barely anyone thinks about the unhealthiness or the risks they are taking when eating those types of foods.Everyone forgets about how unhealthy those types of foods are.
Fast forward ten years from now. The same students are tired after a long day of work and decide to go through the drive-through once but then this suddenly becomes an everyday thing. Sometimes the fastest and quickest thing isn’t always the best. Unhealthy foods are delicious but they aren’t good for your body or health. Teens opt for the fast food option because it is quick and cheap. But many teens are unaware of the long-lasting effects of junk food on a person’s health. Adding a tax to unhealthy junk food such as sodas and fast food will benefit society overall.
Although this policy will be completely unpopular with teens since we teens rely on fast food a lot of the time, it’s economically smart, and increases life expectancy. Cigarettes a terrible for a person’s health yet many still use them just like junk food. Cigarettes affect the life expectancy and ultimately shorten it just like junk foods. Smoking cigarettes makes a person more likely to get certain conditions and diseases just like junk food. With the many similarities in the negative effects, why are cigarettes taxed but food that are bad for you aren’t? Adding a tax to junk foods and sugary drinks has many benefits, most of them involving health.
America is having tremendous problems with weight problems and obesity. Increasing the prices of junk food will most likely reduce the obesity percentage in America because in a lot of instances, a person will opt for a healthier, cheaper food choice rather than unhealthy, expensive food. People won’t want to spend so much on junk food so they will spend more on healthier foods (Food For Thought).Your body needs nutrients and minerals to maintain good health and keep your body functioning correctly (Peterman). In school, we need a lot of energy to get through the long day of concentration. Eating a healthy diet does not mean removing all the foods you love to eat from your diet; it means eating certain foods in moderation while keeping your overall diet healthy. Many teens cringe at the thought of healthy eating but fruits, vegetables, and certain spices add really unique flavors to foods that are usually bland. Adding a junk food tax will make people opt for healthier eating more than usual which will probably reduce the percentage of obesity and overweight people.
Not only will the junk food tax benefit society’s health, it will benefit society economically. Although it seems as if adding a “fat tax” to unhealthy foods will make people spend more overall, however, this might affect those students who scrap up every penny. However, consider the fact that it is the poor who suffer most from low-quality diets and the symptoms of obesity, heart disease, etc. Money from the fat tax can be used to support subsidies to healthy foods, community sports programs and a system of preventative healthcare, all of which are sorely lacking in Russia and the industrialized West. Putting a junk food tax isn’t necessarily banning everyone from eating it.
So what about those teens who are healthy and want fast food at a cheap price? Well the foods aren’t necessarily going to cost a lot, they would just be a little bit more expensive. Besides, if a healthy person can spend a little extra on healthy foods all the times, they can spend a little bit more money on the one time they want to eat unhealthy. Throughout high school, everyone begins to think about their future and the possibilities it brings. When picturing our future, we want families and a good job, but what about our health? Who stops to think about not getting diabetes or trying to prevent certain life-threatening diseases? No one does. Adding a fat food tax would persuade people to cut back drastically on fat- and sodium-rich foods and encourage them to start eating food that is good for them.
The goal is not to increase the life expectancy of the population but to make people live healthier and more productive lives. (Karlin). When we think about healthy food, we automatically think of bland foods or vegetables but maybe society needs a reality check and some tough love to help avoid some of the biggest problems our society is facing. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, it is estimated that 13 percent of premature deaths can be attributed to an unhealthy diet (Peterman). We are young, we all want to live a long, healthy life and many of us won’t start one without a little push. The first step to anything is the hardest and a fat tax won’t be necessarily banning fatty foods, it will just try to persuade many to choose a healthier option next time they’re in a rush or hanging out with their friends. It won’t only benefit us now, it will benefit us in the long run.
In conclusion, teens should be susceptible to the fatty foods tax because this is the first step of many to influence society to eat healthy. Eating healthier isn’t the first thing we want to do and we can start by portioning our food. But most of all, we can all agree that adding a fat tax will encourage many to go in a healthier route. Society needs to start somewhere and this fat tax can be the beginning of a healthier generation with many healthy-food benefits. Let’s accept the first step to make us healthy. Teens have a lot of goals and have their whole life ahead of them. Why not make the future a long, healthy, and happy one instead of a short, fat, and saggy one?