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Fat Tax

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. Lisa (bakebikeblog)

    Hmm interesting debate! I do find it amazing that in Australia they have placed hefty taxes on alcohol and cigarettes – but junk food remains so cheap…..I would have thought cutting taxes on fresh produce, and increasing them on junk foods would be a start?!

    1. hundredtenpounds

      I like that suggestion. It makes sense to have healthier food cheaper.

  2. The Boyfriend

    As you know, I love this topic.

    The answer is simple. You cannot just blindly tax things like soda as soda isn’t the problem here. People that make poor decisions are the problem and those decisions cannot be summed up under the umbrella of “soda drinker”.

    Personally, I support a tax for those that stress the health care system more. This may include smokers and those that are obese but I don’t think that hereditary conditions should be included. In addition to those that are likely to be at a higher risk for what I’ll refer to as “lifestyle choices”, I think there should be a basic health assessment test that includes a questionnaire as well as physical assessments.

    1. hundredtenpounds

      Why isn’t soda the problem? I used to drink like 3 or 4 regular sodas a day. That contributed to my weight gain. I now drink NO soda or sparkling water because it’s a healthier option and I don’t have the fake sugar.

      And how do you distinguish between “hereditary conditions” in this assessment? My genetics tell me that gaining weight is VERY EASY for me. I will always struggle with it. I must exercise and eat healthy and limit sweets and alcohol because of those genetics. But I’m now healthy and fairly “thin”–do I get taxed if I gain 20 pounds?

      1. The Boyfriend

        Because people make the decision to drink, or abuse, soda.

        Look at it like this. Why don’t we tax chocolate? Ice cream? All fast foods? Heck, why don’t we tax everything in any restaurant?

        It’s not the food that’s to blame. It’s the choices that people make. I should be able to eat/drink whatever I want as long as I’m deemed healthy (or not a heavy user/burden) by the health care system.

        1. hundredtenpounds

          I agree with you 100% that it’s the choices people make.

    2. The Boyfriend

      Ok, good. And while taxing soda might be a solution, it doesn’t address the real problem.

      If you make health care more expensive for those that abuse it the most due to poor lifestyle choices, you’ll see that people will make better decisions and the problem will correct itself.

      1. hundredtenpounds

        But there are people that abuse the system who may or may not be “healthy.” They may be healthy but have mental issues or be hypochondriacs, or have some weird disease or they abuse drugs but are “skinny”. Do we tax people with genetic disorders like Parkinson’s because they suck the system resources? I guess I don’t see how Bureaucrats will be able to differentiate OR make good decisions on case by case basis. Left in the hands of the government they won’t be able to “Define” health. Example: “Define ‘is’.” –Bill Clinton. 😉

    3. The Boyfriend

      Parkinson’s and true hypochondriacs are not lifestyle choices and therefore would be exempt from my proposed plan.

      It’s simple. Hire the boyfriend and appointment him in charge of the health care system. Are you listening Obama?

      1. hundredtenpounds

        I see your point.

        And I can get behind you as Mr. Health Care Reformer! 😉

  3. Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place

    To me, the idea of having a contest to see who could lose the most weight is a HORRIBLE idea in the work place. It would get ugly with people resorting to unhealthy means just to win some money.

    1. hundredtenpounds

      I agree. I’m all for support systems and workplaces having an option “Weight Watchers” meeting but pressure and competition doesn’t sound right to me. Not only that, when I was losing my 100 pounds, it came off pretty quickly. I would have had that contest won HANDS DOWN! Now? Not so much. It’s taking for-freaking-ever to lose the last 10 pounds.

    2. The Boyfriend

      You cannot truly measure health by reading the number that a scale reports. It’s just not something that encompasses every situation like an assessment test could.

  4. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self

    Here’s my issue with the idea of giving any kind of incentive – financial or otherwise – for weight loss. It implies that weight = health. But in reality, there are many thin people who are not healthy at all, and many people who aren’t super skinny and yet are in great shape, eat wonderful diets, etc. Weight may be our usual indicator for health, but it isn’t always the best one.

  5. Katie J

    I have had a membership to 24hr fitness for 13 years and haven’t used it near enough BUT I am glad that I have it as a resource when I want to use it.

    I just don’t think the workplace is the proper venue for that kind of competition.

  6. Julie @ Pickley Pear

    I only have 10lbs to lose, so I doubt I could win any sort of competition, but I would be motivated to lose if I got paid! I use every cent of my $60 per month gym membership! Interesting post, definitely things to think about.

  7. Carbzilla

    It’s finally almost summer here in Seattle too – the sun finally came out at 4:30 today!

    As you may or may not know, WA has a snack tax and I believe it also covers beer (but not microbrews?). There are plenty of thin people who eat unhealthy so I don’t really consider it a fat tax, per se. Would it stop me from buying a bag of chips? Probably not, and I doubt most folks who don’t pay attention to what they put in their body actually scrutinize their supermarket receipt.

    I have recently lost weight while working because I could see low-sugar/low-carb was really working for someone else, but I probably would have failed miserably if it had been a contest. They’re just not really fair because everyone loses weight differently. I’m also not a very competitive person, though I understand that a lot of people are.

    (PS Is The Boyfriend YOUR boyfriend? You’re as bad as we are when we IM each other from within the house! LOL)

    1. hundredtenpounds

      I did not know that WA had a snack tax. I will pay attention next time! And yes, the Boyfriend is MY boyfriend and we’re total dorks. We will talk through Twitter about what we want to do for dinner. 🙂 Especially when we aren’t in the same room. LOL

  8. Kellie

    I have a membership and I use it almost every day. I feel like I am paying for it so I better use it.

    1. hundredtenpounds

      I do too. I use my gym membership mostly for the pool but I use the weights and machines every once in awhile (more so in the winter). I paid for it, I’m using it!

  9. Kelly

    I don’t know I feel about a tax on “unhealthy foods” but I do think that discrimation goes against skinny people too. I think that is often overlooked in today’s society and it really annoys me. (Side rant..sorry) I guess one could make the arguement that in today’s society soda is just as detrimental to health as cigarettes and we tax the hell out of those.

    1. The Boyfriend

      You cannot compare sodas to cigarettes.

      If I drink a soda near you, you are not affected by it in a second hand manner like you would be if I smoked a cigarette.

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