Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rising Petrol Prices help reduce Obesity

Recently I wrote a piece arguing for higher taxes on unhealthy foods. This obesity tax has several main justifications including:

  • Help to encourage healthy eating
  • Pay for the externalities of obesity
  • Raise revenue for government.
  • Help save lives and improve quality of life.
  • See: Fat tax on unhealthy foods
An interesting report from the Independent shows that higher petrol prices have had a dramatic effect on encouraging Americans to walk to shops, rather than drive their 3 ton hummers 500 yards to the nearest McDonalds drive in.

Rising Petrol Prices hit Obesity

This is great news and these kinds of trends should be encouraged by government intervention.

What do you think? - Should the government tax certain activities? Is it the government's responsibility to tackle obesity?

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1 comment:

Mike10613 said...

If the UK government scrapped the vehicle excise licence and added the cost to petrol and diesel. Also increased tax on aviation fuel. This would take a lot of money out of the economy. The MPC could then cut interest rates - help mortgage payers and industry to borrow and invest. It would also be a cheaper and more efficient way of discouraging road use and congestion; than congestion charging and road pricing.