It’s not exactly a secret that eating junk food has contributed greatly to obesity. And certainly, obesity has contributed to some commonly avoidable health issues. Heart disease, strokes, and even some forms of cancer have been linked to obesity. Among the many causes of obesity, eating excessive junk food has most definitely been a major culprit. And despite many of the warning about eating junk food, there are those that simply will not get into the habit of quitting their poor dietary choices. This is why many states are considering taxing junk food.
But, will there really be much of an effect if you tax junk food? As one study suggests “…taxing unhealthy foods reduced overall calories purchased, while cutting the proportion of fat and carbohydrates and upping the proportion of protein in a typical week’s groceries.”
Why is this so? Well, when you add a tax to the cost of an item, you make it more difficult to purchase. And even if the person does make a purchase, the tax decreases the individual’s budget. As a result, there is less money to purchase junk food items in the future. This means that the state will have literally taxed away the unhealthy diet! Or, at least that is the hope. It would take years of study in practice to see if such a plan would truly be effective. Human behavior in the consumer market is not always easy to predict. Some may opt to pay the tax on the junk food and cut their spending elsewhere. It becomes difficult to truly predict how people will behave under certain conditions.
So, it may take some time to see if “sin taxes” on junk food actually work. Hopefully, the impact will have the desired result those in charge hope to deliver.
What about you? Would you still buy junk food even though you’d get taxed on it more? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.