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Is Taxing Chocolate A Good Way to Help Fight Obesity?

A doctor in the UK seems to think so according to this article.

Chocolate should be taxed in a bid to control the obesity epidemic, a doctor has suggested. Family doctor David Walker believes that chocolate is a "major player" in the problem of the country's expanding waistlines. Taxing the treat would raise its profile as an unhealthy food which can contribute to weight-related conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure and back pain, the Lanarkshire GP will tell doctors at a conference in Clydebank.

He said people are often eating more than half a day's worth of calories when they polish off a bag of chocolates in front of the television.

Of course! Blame the chocolate. It has nothing to do with the sedentary couch potato behavior of the lardass snarfing up some sweet fat confection that bears very little resemblance to "real" chocolate.

Earth to Dr Walker: If you make chocolate more expensive they'll just move to crisps or something else equally bad. Don't blame the food, blame the behavior of the person who's eating the food.

As my old friend Edith Ann was very fond of saying, "And That's the Truth."

:: Clay

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I don't know what the word is for that flappy sound she made with her lips, raspberry(?), but, well, that! ;-)

Yes, I found myself getting angry just reading the topic title. Perhaps a better strategy would be a campaign of public service announcements that get people to think about what they're doing. And maybe throw in a copy of one of Michael Pollan's books e.g. In Defense of Food,.
Is it constitutional to tax chocolate? This is a basic question for a certain tax imposition to be implemented.

Another purpose why tax imposition are done is because government wanted to regulate certain behavior that needs to be regulated. However in promulgation of a certain regulation, there are certain requirements that are need to be satisfied.

Let us take obesity as a bi-product of behavior that is excessive eating of chocolate.

First, if during the the process of promulgation of the tax imposition to chocolate the law makers found that excessive eating of chocolates has contributed to obesity. It is likely that taxing chocolate is needed.

Second, if during the process taxing chocolate can significantly reduce obesity and that obesity needs to be regulated because substantial evidence have shown that it is unlikely (no objection from fat people who eats chocolate, and no objection from thin people who likes to be fat by eating more chocolate and that they are willing to pay for it). It is likely that taxing chocolate is needed.

Third, If taxing chocolate is found to be the most practical way of regulating obesity as caused by excessive eating of chocolate. Then it is likely that imposition is necessary.

Fourth, if the tax scheme to be implemented is fair enough to the people who will share the burden. If tax implementation is clear, the scope is clearly define, and that it is not regressive and oppressive. The tax is likely be implemented.


Otherwise, if the requirements are not meet. Then most likely taxing chocolate is unconstitutional.

Although the discussion seemed to answer all the requirements, there are other requirements that may impedes taxation of chocolate.

One argument might be is the right of a person to obesity and the right to eat chocolate. If one likes to be obese, then who should care. The problem with the doctors claim is that they tend to be so idealistic with what the healthy living should be. Of course they are taught academically, and scientifically that obesity has caused high mortality and that it must be regulated. It is true that concern to life is correct, but questioning the way of life is debatable. Doctors do not have the right to take that away from the chocolate feeders. To enjoy life, and to take consequences is a matter of personal decision and not collective bargaining. I don not agree of taxing chocolates, because I am a thinking man and I know when to stop eating.

Doc, it is better to educate one from than taking his way of life.
Oh good grief! Why not tax chips and beer and cookies and cake because they can make you obese too? Or how about portion sizes? A super sized meal at a fast food restaurant is as much, or more, to blame. Actually, it's not the food, it's the person eating the food and not stopping.

I have many people who pass on buying my sweets because, and I quote, "I can't stop eating them once I start." If the cause of that could be found, the need to tax things to change a behavior would be unnecessary. It's not chocolate, it's the not stopping eating.

Besides, I seriously doubt a tax on chocolate would do any good. After all, taxation hasn't really stopped people from smoking or drinking.
As noted in other replies here chocolate isn't "the problem". People putting too much food in their mouths (of all sorts) and not exercising enough is the problem.

So either Dr Walker is a stupid as the media who have picked up his comments (unlikely), or he was just baiting the media for his own ends (like saying something controversial to raise the profile of the Clydebank conference he will be speaking at).
We just need to set up a study trial of several thousand people eating nothing but 100% Tava Bars for 10 years and see how that plays out. You need to isolate the "chocolate" and who better to do that than Tava (Langdon send me chocolate-i don't have any money but I'll send you one of mine in return!)
Lol - I can tell you the result of that study right now (not pretty at all).

Sadly we are not currently in production, so even we don't have any Tava bars at the moment :-(
Snarf!!!!

sounds like dr. walker needs to get laid........

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