• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : ALR782
  • University : Deakin University
  • Subject Name : Law

Obesity Tax

Name:

This briefing paper is based on the public debate issue of "Obesity Tax" which is presented by Livewire. It brings detailed discussion regarding the favourable and unfavourable impacts of the tax policy. The development of the policy can be analyzed with the actions of the government(Boseley 2019; Madden 2015).

Date:

21st May 2020

Subject:

The topic of the briefing paper is “Obesity Tax”.

Background:

Discussion regarding the contested public issues is the major aspect of the organizations. One of the major issues in public debate is "Obesity Tax" (WHO n.d.). Fat tax or obesity tax is considered as a surcharge or tax which is placed for fattening beverages, foods, or overweight individuals. It is included under Pigovian taxation that generates negative externalities. It increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Eating behaviour of individuals is considered as most responsible for price increases. Nutritional education can make individuals aware of the unhealthy diet. Obesity is a global health issue in the public that is increasing in the world at a high rate (Boseley 2019; Madden 2015).

Analysis:

Obesity tax is levied on the unhealthy items that are high in calorie intake. These food and beverages affect the health of individuals. A reduction in sales can be identified after the taxes on snacks and drinks to reduce fat in the diet. An increase in the price of sugary drinks leads to a reduction in the average weight loss by 203g per year (WHO 2020). However, the poor families or lower-income groups consider it as "regressive tax" which affects the poor families as most. Heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes which are caused by obesity affect the poor families most through their inefficient diet (Boseley 2019; Madden 2015).

Awareness of negative personal and social costs can also be explained to the individuals that can reduce the consumption of unhealthy food items. More focus on fruits and vegetables promotes a substantial trend of effective health outcomes and reduces obesity. Trends in energy expenditure need to be followed by individuals to maintain healthy lives and reduce obesity levels. Physical activities reduce the level of calories in the body and maintain long-term trends (WHO 2020). Awareness of a healthy lifestyle is recommended to maintain effective health outcomes and promoting better lives for individuals. Nutritional education is also effective for individuals to understand the need for a healthy diet and maintaining a physically active body.

Cautionary Notes:

Obesity taxes can affect poor families with higher prices. People do not afford costly items for their families that can lead to affect society. The production companies will also get affected by this issue that can reduce their revenue and sales. Through the adoption of healthy lifestyles, individuals reduce the intake of sugary drinks or other unhealthy food items. It is considered as a regressive tax that can affect the lives of lower-income groups(WHO 2020).

Contact:

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References

Boseley, S. 2019. Tax on snacks would have a huge impact on obesity, say expert. [Online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/05/tax-on-snacks-would-have-huge-impact-on-obesity-say-experts [Accessed on: 21st May 2020].

Madden, D. 2015. The poverty effects of a ‘fat‐tax’in Ireland. Health economics, 24(1), pp.104-121.

WHO. n.d. Taxes on sugary drinks: why do it? [Online]. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/260253/WHO-NMH-PND-16.5Rev.1-eng.pdf;jsessionid=9B59F5ECB80835B37EFD4DCCE8DFAD74?sequence=1 [Accessed on: 21st May 2020].

WHO. 2020. The effect of fiscal policy on diet, obesity and chronic disease: a systematic review. [Online]. Available at: https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/8/09-070987/en/ [Accessed on: 21st May 2020].

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