The researchers on health matters as well as policy formulators on health issues have proposed the motion of levying excise taxes on both snack and junk foods as a possible measure to minimizing the ever-growing cases of both obesity and overweight within the United States demographics. Some of the proposals made suggest that higher taxes on both snack and junk foods will eventually lead to significant changes in the consumer’s diet. On the other hand, other people are of the suggestion that the change will only be possible when the imposed taxes on the consumers are instead directed towards the funding of enlightenment workshops which are geared towards educating the people on healthy living (Jacobson & Brownell 856).
There has been consistent rise of obesity cases among the American’s mostly aged between 20-74 years and the figure is consistently rising from a low of 15% as from the late 1970’s to a significant value of 23.3% at the late 1980’s and finally to a figure of around 30.9 % in the period between 1999 and 2000 (Flegal, Ogden & Johnson 1723).
According to the report presented by Jacobson and Brownell (854) on health matters, cases of overweight children have also been on the rise out of the fact that snack foods are availed at their close vicinity. It continues to stipulate the fact that overweight children will eventually end up becoming overweight adults ones they grow up, and hence there is an adverse reason to believe that the trend towards the overweight among all the Americans may continue cutting through to the future generations. To illustrate this argument well, it is good to examine the definite quantity of the salty snack purchases which will be reduced by either varying the excise tax rates or in the other case observing the possible consumer price responses or encouraging healthy living activities. This justifies the thesis which stipulates the fact that encouraging healthy eating, higher taxes should be imposed on the soft drinks and junk foods.
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It is basically a sensitive matter on the relevance arising out of overweight and obesity issues. In the public health communities, most of the people refutes obesity and overweight as public problems since many people end-up being diagnosed from chronic diseases which are associated with these overweight conditions.
On the support of the motion, it is a fact that overweight and obesity pose a threat to the life of the victims due to the health effects that might occur from such conditions, for example, the chronic diseases such as blood pressure and heart failures as a whole. These effects, as a result, obligate public health officers to put more emphasis on the researching of new ideas which will introduce programs designed to influence healthy living. There is the continuous strain on the public health facilities due to the persistent admissions of the people to the hospitals a result of over-utilizing both the snack and junk foods. This phenomenon impedes the expenses created by hiring health offices as well as the funds which is required for the growth of the health amenities altogether (Jacobson & Brownell 856).
Another point to support the motion is from the perspective of an economic advantage. The intervention aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity and overweight issues have high chances of increasing economic efficiency. When more tax is imposed on the snack and junk foods, it will become more expensive and hence for some adjustments in the family budgets allocated for the foodstuffs. This will force the families eating these foods to cut their supply and hence work positively towards reducing the cases of obesity among the people.
Another point to be made in support of the motion is for purpose of maximizing the nation’s revenue reserve. People with health issues and obesity are considered to be a liability as they are not able to work hence never contributes any form of revenue to the economy of the government in terms of revenue. The same people also depend on the working-population hence acts as an impediment to their respective accounts in terms of limited budgets. The government will, in turn, lack enough funds which are needed for other project development activities as this money will be directed towards treatment and maintenance of health facilities.
However, there are reasons well known to oppose the motion aimed at introducing these form of taxes. Many people argue that the restrictions which will be imposed on the advertising of this types of foods will not in any way act towards the elimination of the candy, fast foods and soft drink foods and in turn, will not really aid the minimization of the occurrences of obesity. It is a common tendency for people to argue that the increase of the prices will definitely mean that these commodities are very “essential” to the people; hence they will end-up purchasing the commodity as a whole (Epstein 138).
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Another point in favor of the argument emerges from the classical-economic point of view. It stipulates that the government should instead advertise on the healthy living measure such as the regular exercise rather than discourage the utilization of snack and junk foods altogether. It further stipulates that more bicycle paths be created to encourage both the physical and recreational form of activities. It should be noted that once most of the people comprehend to the fact that they are supposed to do enough exercises they will thereby purchase enough bicycles and sports materials for the exercising activities and as a result of these purchases, sales will be boosted hence enough revenue collected by the government in terms of profits on tax returns (Battle & Brownell 755).
In as much as every side has its points well supported, it is a clear fact that all health issues are caused by the unhealthy living issues which are to be eliminated completely. However, it is wise to determine and define the real causes of the problems rather than concentrating on the problems. A committee of health personnel should also be formulated and mandated with the responsibility of formulating solutions which will enhance the issues of unhealthy living styles as well as those which will address the healthy population not to be caught unaware in the their changing their respective healthy lifestyles so that in the end they are faced with challenge of being overweight in general. It is also clear to implicate that as much as increasing the capacities of physical health exercises will acts towards the effectiveness of the population leading a healthy life, the idea of getting rid of the snack shops which sell junk foods for the children is much more better, since this seems to deal directly with the root cause of the problems other than that which concerns itself with the elimination of the problem altogether. To think that the problem can be eliminated completely is somehow impossible altogether and may cost the taxpayer a lot of money