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Good Question: Should there be a tax on non nutritious foods?

Health advocates consider soda, french fries and donuts junk food and they want it to come with added cost.

Opponents say poor Americans would pay too much and people should have the right to choose what they eat.

Good Question: Should there be a tax on non nutritious foods?

For the nation that created cheap, fast food we're paying quite a hefty toll.

"Potato chips, pretzels, cookies, those big greasy cheeseburgers loaded with saturated fat and calories," said Michael Jacobson, the Executive Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

When it comes to what we eat, many Americans are making bad choices.

"Soft drinks have been treated like water, its part of the average meal," said Jacobson.

Poorer consumers are often priced out of healthier options because fresher, purer foods cost more.

With the percentage of obese adults doubling in the past 30 years and the percentage of obese children tripling, the annual health care costs of obesity has soared to over $100 billion.

Because of that some industry experts think soda and junk food should be taxed just like cigarettes.

"We ought to start discouraging the consumption of junk food, soda and hyper processed foods the way we discourage smoking. The way we discouraged smoking and continue to discourage smoking is we tax cigarettes a lot in some states," said Mark Bittman a food columnist.

A study from Yale's Rudd Center found a national penny per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages would generate some $13 thirteen billion a year in tax revenues.

Call it a junk food tax and whole food subsidy.

Raise the price of foods high in fat, calories and preservatives and drop the cost of fresh veggies, fruits and other organic foods.

While some say a new tax is the last thing we need, it could just mean a healthier America.

Another public health study found that a penny tax per ounce on sugar sweetened drinks in New York state would save $3 billion in health care cost over ten years.


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