Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Huge Problem with an Obvious Solution

Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables

A great expose by Mark Bittman. It is a life and death issue, and addressing it could lower the deficit.
Subsidized. Photo: Hans Sandberg
Not subsidized.
"WHAT will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.)....changing it /our diet/ could improve our health and save tens of millions of lives..... and... save tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.Yet the food industry appears incapable of marketing healthier foods.... Their mission is not public health but profit, so they’ll continue to sell the health-damaging food that’s most profitable, until the market or another force skews things otherwise. That “other force” should be the federal government, fulfilling its role as an agent of the public good and establishing a bold national fix.
Rather than subsidizing the production of unhealthful foods, we should turn the tables and tax things like soda, French fries, doughnuts and hyperprocessed snacks. The resulting income should be earmarked for a program that encourages a sound diet for Americans by making healthy food more affordable and widely available."
It's so obvious and makes so much sense and would save so much money that one wonders if it ever could be done. It's almost like if we were to get people to stop smoking.... oh, we actually did that, and it worked. And we do regulate and tax tobacco. Why isn't the Tea Party huffing and puffing about that?
Hans Sandberg

Post a Comment

Hubble Telescope Images