Unhealthy food taxes vital to fight obesity: U.N. investigator



(Reuters) - Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to global health than the increasingly regulated sale of tobacco and governments should move fast to tax harmful food products, a United Nations investigator said on Monday.

In a statement issued on the opening of the annual summit of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Belgian professor Olivier de Schutter called for efforts to launch negotiations on a global pact to tackle the obesity epidemic.

“Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco. Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed,” he said.

MUCH needed regulation.


Taxes aren’t going to stop people from eating unhealthy food. Come on.


So first we make McDonalds pay a minimum wage of $15 -then we tax them out of business because they sell unhealthy foods. Ya-makes sense to me.


Ah yes. The good old UN.:shrug:


Just another attempt to run people’s lives from pre-birth to grave and beyond. :rolleyes:

I have lost over 40 lbs. simply by restricting portions, not foods. I have lost weight eating pudding and cookies and donuts and other “unhealthy” foods, but in the right amounts and at the right time of day. There is no such thing as “unhealthy” foods, only unhealthy eating habits. The UN should put time, money and effort into teaching people how to eat properly not in trying to restrict what people eat through taxation.


I wonder if this Belgian professor is aware that Belgians consume more beer, per capita, than anybody else in the world. Compared to them, Americans are practically teetotalers.

Wonder if he’s wanting to tax beer too. :smiley:


If we could swap a tax on food for our payroll taxes that might not be a bad tradeoff. Payroll taxes do no good whatsoever, so they are purely bad. A tax on food would be less bad. Of course it would also help to get rid of the USDA and all farm subsidies, such as the CRP program that pays landowners for doing nothing.


If people are too ignorant to tame their own unhealthy diet, government needs to protect them.

LOVE! :heart:


Then they need to be educated not taxed. The Left is always trying to make us behave as they wish, as if we are all babies that need them to tell us poor, unwashed masses what to do. Ah no. I’m perfectly capable of educating myself, thank you. Health issues need to remain in the hands of patients and their doctors not the government.


That of course assumes that the government is smarter than individuals, which is a stretch to say the least.


My diet is no ones business but mines. It most certainly is not the business of the UN or some pointy headed professor from Belgium


I would agree with you, except for the fact that in the US, most seniors get government healthcare. If seniors would agree to pay for their own healthcare then I would agree that diet is nobody else’s business. But if they are going to rely on the government for their healthcare after 65 then the taxpayer does have the right to be concerned about what people eat.


That is one of my biggest fears about obamacare-that the govt will use their involvememt in health care to micromanage our lives. I have been paying into Medicare for 45 years. When I finally start to collect it I will have to buy a medi-gap policy to cover what they don’t. they aren’t giving me anything. My diet is none of their damn business.


Nanny state?!:hmmm:


I agree, except I would say egg head professor from Belgium. :thumbsup:


Do you guys believe that taxing cigarettes is wrong? If so, why?

LOVE! :heart:


If you are going to take the government dole, then the dole giver is going to have some leverage over you.

I have been paying into Medicare for 45 years.

The medicare payroll tax only pays for hospitalization, that you could have a legitimate claim of a right to. Parts B and D are subsidized by general tax revenues. You have no more of a right to those than a poor person has a right to claim that he or she is owed food stamps. For example, about 75% of the cost of part B is paid for by the taxpayer. It is a major subsidy that seniors get that they are in no way entitled to. They did nothing to earn such a benefit.

When I finally start to collect it I will have to buy a medi-gap policy to cover what they don’t. they aren’t giving me anything. My diet is none of their damn business.

You clearly have never seen the data on how medicare is financed. If you think that part B is no deal (if that was true really true, you would never buy it since you are not forced to) then why do insurance companies that provide retiree health benefits often require their participants to buy part b? One plan I know requires its retirees to buy part b and the retirement plan reimburses the participant for the full cost. Effectively an insurance company is requiring people to buy insurance. Because it is a really good deal for the recipient, but not the taxpayer.

I agree, if you pay your own way, the government has no business telling you what to eat. If you want a subsidy that you are not entitled to, then it is the government’s business.


I don’t think taxing cigarettes is wrong because I don’t smoke.


As a product? No. As a means of keeping people from smoking, yes. It’s a legal product. If lawmakers really wanted to get people to stop smoking they should make selling and using it illegal, but no one is going to do that. Again, it’s up to the individual to decide if smoking is going to harm their health or not. That’s not a decision government should be making if they’re going to keep buying/using cigarettes legal.


Yes. I think they should either ban them or treat them as any other product. It is a regressive tax that disproportionately effects the poor-who are much more likely to smoke

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