Do you know how many people die yearly because of health problems?
Due to the invasion of fast food restaurants in the United States, health problems, such as obesity and diabetes, are increasing; as a result the mortality rates are increasing over the years. “According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity and overweight [sic] together are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States, close behind tobacco use. An estimated 300,000 deaths per year are due to the obesity epidemic” (Obesity and Mortality, www.wvdhhr.org). Supporters think that there should be higher taxes on unhealthy food, such as fast food and soda drinks to save people from being at risk. Even though some people think that imposing taxes has many benefits for the individual and society, I believe that it is unfair to impose higher taxes or “fat tax” on fast food.
Supporters of imposing higher taxes on fast food claim in their first argument that some people do not know what is best for their health. They think that the government has to help people and make them aware of how bad fast food is by imposing higher taxes on it. Also, they say that even though there are a lot of scary advertisements about obesity and awareness programs that help people who are addicted to fast food, all that effort goes from one ear and out the other. Supporters think that money is the best motivator to change eating habits, so if the prices increase, an individual weight decreases. However, I believe in freedom and human rights. Imposing higher taxes on fast food means that the government chooses for us what we should eat and what we should not. How could this be in the country of freedom? If the government imposed “fat tax” on fast food, the security and stability of this country would break down because people would fight to have their right and freedom of choice.
Supporters also say that imposing higher taxes on fast food would not only help to increase the individual’s health but also the country’s economy. They think that if higher taxes were imposed, the government could use surplus funds in the country development, such as treating overweight people, road improvements, and building schools and hospitals. However, I believe that this has a negative economic impact, because if no one spent money, the economy would go down; instead the government should think of decreasing the prices of healthy food first. Also, I believe that this is unfair for people who work in fast food restaurants and industries. When these industries have no income, they will have to lay off a lot of employees. Laying off employees will not only damage their lives but also their families. All that has only bad side effects, such as increasing the rate of homelessness, thefts and crimes.
The last argument of supporters of imposing higher taxes on fast food is that fast food is unhealthy. Fast food contains large amounts of sugar and fat, which are unhealthy for the human body. Also, they say that fast food causes many risky diseases on the long term, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and liver damage. However, I believe that obesity and other diseases are caused not only by eating fast food but also by heredity, body chemicals and hormones. People who have hormones problems will face weight problems even if they quit eating fast food. “More and more research is indicating that America's obesity crisis can't