Obesity: Should the Government Tax Unhealthy Foods?

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Is more government regulation needed to stop the epidemic of obesity? The first government recommendation was from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1917 when they released a pamphlet, How to Select Foods. This pamphlet divided foods into five groups. During 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Presidents Council on Youth Fitness due to “concern about the physical fitness of America’s children compared with their European counterparts” (ProQuest Staff). Since the introduction of the pamphlet How to Select Foods the government has adapted the guidelines five times. And has created several regulations including rules requiring manufactures to list transfats on the nutrition facts on packaging and creating the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Since the creation of the first recommendations and regulations the average weight of Americans has increased. Is government regulation working?

The average weight of Americans is increasing, because the regulations are not enough. The government has been implementing regulations since the early 1900’s, but still the average weight of Americans continues to rise. The Center for disease Control and Prevention states, “On average, both men and women gained more than twenty-four pounds between the early 1960’s and 2002.” In 1900 the average weight of a college age woman was 122 pounds and the average man 133 pounds. Currently the National Center for Health states the average weight of a woman is 162.9 pounds and the average man is 189.8 pounds. That is a forty-pounds difference for women and fifty-five pounds difference for men in the last hundred years. As Americans continue to gain weight other medical issues such as; Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure...

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Silverman, Jacob. "Would a fat tax save lives?" 01 August 2007. HowStuffWorks.com. 01 Dec 2011. Web source.

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They aim to change individual behaviour, but do little to change the behaviour of corporations that make and market unhealthful products, spending vast fortunes to make them available, desirable and socially acceptable. (Nestle, Marion)

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