Fat Tax On Fast Food In Australia

921 words - 4 pages

People eat fast food because it is quick, accessible, tasty, inexpensive and time-saving. This was confirmed by a study of six hundred people living in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region of America. They were each offered a fast-food meal, after which they were asked to agree or disagree with eleven statements about why they eat fast food. However, fast food is a leading cause of disease. This issue is relevant to all Australians. How so? According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Australia has the fifth-highest obesity rates of any country anywhere in the world, at a very high figure of 24.6 percent. This means that almost one in every four citizens is ...view middle of the document...

5 grams)! This is also 340 percent of the daily allowance for women (25 grams).

A fat tax would help the Australian economy. In Australia, the costs associated with obesity in 2005 were $21 billion. Overweight Australians also received grants totalling $35.6 billion from the government. This is an unacceptably high cost and it is preventable.

A fat tax would plague producers and outlets. Such was the case with the world’s first fat tax introduced in Denmark. This tax on foods high in saturated fat was dismissed after less than a year and left many consequences in its wake. It has been guilty of “increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies' administrative costs and putting Danish jobs at risk," as stated by the Danish tax ministry. As a result, the planned sugar tax has also been abandoned. As well, the tax was a costly procedure and failed to change the eating habits of people in general. A fat tax on fast food would have the same limitations and ultimately lead to failure.
A fat tax would destroy people’s right of choice in a less than subtle bid from the government to tell us what to eat. Under the Constitution and the policies of Civil Liberties Australia, Australians have freedom of thought, the right to live freely and to be treated equally, as well as the right to share in the community. How can we uphold these basic, indisputable rights if we do not even have the freedom to choose what we eat?

There are better alternatives for preventing obesity than a fat tax. The...

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