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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Mathematics & Economics
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Fast foods (Essay Sample)

Required to explain why the government should tax the fast foods. source..
Cydmarie Ortiz Professor Brunner ENC1101 December 4, 2018 Governments Should Tax Fast Foods Many people have eaten fast food at least once in their lives and consumers can admit that they are the most delicious types of food. However, it is doubtless that fast foods are unhealthy and are the primary causes of obesity and other diseases like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and many more. There are arguments suggesting that adding taxes to unhealthy foods is a great way to help reduce their consumption. In addition, the government has been looking for ways they can reduce the use of fast and unhealthy foods, to help reduce obesity and other health issues. The people that oppose, on the other hand, believe that taxing these foods can be a violation of their rights and freedom. Governments should consider taxing fast foods as this will reduce their consumption and protect people from attracting any diseases. Heavy taxation of fast foods can be justified economically. Arguably, the health costs incurred as a result of consuming harmful fast foods outweigh the opportunity cost of reducing their consumption through taxation. Note that both economic and social costs need to be accounted for in this case. “There is certainly an economic justification for the government to intervene in an attempt to reduce obesity levels since obesity imposes external costs on society as a whole and some estimates suggest that these costs can be high” (Leicester and Frank 17). Individuals and government as well spent a lot on dietary diseases most of which are caused by junk and fast foods such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. In America for example, a significant proportion of the adult population suffer from obesity. Over the past three decades, the growth rates of obesity among children in the world have tripled. All this provokes a sharp increase in the risk of stroke in young people, the number of heart diseases and an increase in the proportion of the population with diabetes. Taxation serves to reduce the need for healthcare resources used to treat such conditions (Leicester and Frank 10). These resources can be used to improve the health care of people in different ways. Moreover, there will be fewer diseases and improved overall public health if people consume less fast food. According to Mytton et al (2014, p.1), taxation of unhealthy consumables goods serves to improve general health by discouraging unhealthy consumption. The government has been imposing heavy taxes on some substances generally considered harmful such as alcohol and cigarettes. However, the fast foods present the same harm and risk to health associated with alcohol and cigarettes. “Junk foods have the same pattern of misuse and the same social costs as tobacco and alcohol” (Bond et al 472). All foodstuffs which may deteriorate one's health should be taxed heavily to discourage consumption. Governments will save lives by taxing fast foods as well as save the cost of health care. “In recent years, obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia. More than 60% of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese. Evidence epidemic in Australia the world is over-consumption of food rather than a reduction in overall physical activity. Curbing this over-consumption of junk food, in particular, must be a central component of any obesity prevention strategy” (Bond et al 472). Millions of people lose their lives every year due to conditions related to fast foods. Taxing fast foods is an important measure to reduce the detrimental health effects of fast foods. Taxation is a proper action for the ongoing crisis, whereby people are suffering from health conditions. Taxing fast foods will, therefore, improve health care services in general. There are theoretical assumptions linking consumption level with taxation and pricing level. A higher taxation reduces the disposable income and also discourages people from consuming various substances. Taxation has proved to be an effective method to discourage the consumption of harmful substances. Taxes on fast foods would force the respective producers to increase prices for their products in order to cover the usual production cost and the extra tax burden. Theoretically, an increase in price would result in lower demand of the fast foods and hence the negative impacts associated with their consumption (Leicester and Frank 9). For example, taxation has proved to be an effective way to reduce the use of alcohol and cigarettes. However, banning such substances would have a detrimental impact on the economy reason for taxation being the best alternative. Economists have proved that customers are logical beings who prefer consuming goods at a lower cost. There is evidence in many industries where people have gone from consuming highly taxed products to consumer goods that are at a lower tax rate. Therefore, taxing fast food or unhealthy products will be an effective method to reduce their consumption, unlike other methods. The opposers of the taxation policy believe that it is unfair for governments to tax what they consume. In addition, they believe governments should have no need to interfere with the peoples’ choices of food since it is their right and freedom to do so. Secondly, the fast foods industry plays an important role in the economy by cre...
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