'Sin' Taxes = Healthier Eating
There's been a lot of national debate lately regarding nutrition in connection to Michelle Obama's recent campaign against childhood obesity. One of the main problems with raising healthier kids and families is that "healthy" foods such as fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc. tend to be more expensive than "unhealthy" foods like soda, candy and sugar-packed cereals. Well, what if that wasn't the case? What if you actually got penalized financially for eating crappy food?
A recent study found taxing these foods may force Americans to eat better. Researchers at the University of Buffalo had female volunteers simulate grocery shopping a few times. First, they shopped normally as they would at a grocery store. Then, researchers either raised the prices of unhealthy foods by 12.5%, and then again by 25%; or they discounted the price of healthy foods comparably (subsidized) and had mothers shop again.
What they found was interesting: Taxing unhealthy foods reduced overall calories purchased, cut the proportion of fat and carbohydrates and upped the amount of protein in a typical week's groceries. By contrast, subsidizing the prices of healthy food actually increased overall calories purchased and had no effect on nutritional value. Experts think the women took the money they saved on subsidized fruits and vegetables and treated the family to less healthy alternatives, such as chips and soda pop.
So, will 'sin' taxes make our nation healthier? This study sure seems to suggest that.
Video: Could Canadians See A "Sin Tax" On Meat In The Future?
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