is an easy sell—adults can still see all the glistening fast food ads they like, after they put the kids to bed, and it costs nothing.
What do you do with a problem like unhealthy foods? “Children are bombarded by advertising tailored to tempt them with pretty colors and cartoons, which all influence the food they prefer.”According to a survey by Cancer Research, 74% of British respondents supported a ban on junk food TV ads before 9 p.m.
Another argument against taxing things such as sugar is that it affects lower-income consumers more than better-off buyers. Taxation, then, should be levied alongside education.
According to recent research, eating junk isn’t any cheaper than eating well—you just have to know how to buy and prepare healthier foods.
Hungary already taxes sugar, salt, caffeine, and some energy drinks.
Berkeley, California, taxes foods with added sugar (with some exceptions, including alcoholic beverages). If applied smartly, taxes might reduce the intake of junk food, with the side effect of making junk food healthier.
Extra-virgin olive oil might still be heavily taxed, awaiting a change in government tax policy.
In 2011, Denmark started taxing foods made with saturated fat—butter and potato chips were in, but milk and some yogurts were exempted.
And what about changes in our nutritional knowledge?
In recent decades we’ve seen nutritionists recommend diets of mostly carbs, avoiding fat. What if all fats had been taxed back when carbs were king?