Calorie tax: A cure for obesity? - FOX 13 News

Calorie tax: A cure for obesity?

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Death and taxes: They are the two certainties in life.

But can a tax actually help prevent death?

A new study says raising the price of a calorie for home consumption by 10 percent could lower the percentage of body fat in youths by 8 or 9 percent.

The study was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a new report in the Washington Post says doctors are now asking for taxes on alcohol, tobacco, sugar and fat.

Some call it a "sin tax."

Experts feel our nation's obesity problem and other bad habits could be an economic cure for the country. Several doctors with the Mayo Clinic are asking for the taxes, saying it will lead people to cut back and improve public health.

Some would also like this to include fatty foods – like raising the price on fast food and other junk foods.

According to the research, experts are blaming the country's obesity problems on the low cost of food. The study indicates a poor economy leads people to buy cheaper food, and the cheaper foods tend to be unhealthy.

Experts say there's a couple ways to look at it: Maybe a fat tax, sugar tax or calories tax. One professor said a calorie tax would be the most direct way of taxing obesity.

The doctors in favor of the new taxes say there are several reasons to support it. Money is the big one.

If people want to pay to eat, the extra money will help our struggling economy.

But it also could cause lifestyle changes. People who don't want to pay to eat the fatty foods could ultimately change their eating habits.

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