'via Blog this'
The debate is on as to whether a "fat tax" - taxing foods containing saturated fats will help to curb Australia's intake of unhealthy foods.
We have taxes to try to encourage healthier habits with regard to tobacco and alcohol. Saturated fat is another health risk factor that puts a cost on the community (as well as on the individuals affected by it.)
Would people think twice if that incredibly fatty food was more expensive? As much as they think twice because the bottle of wine or beer or box of cigarettes is more expensive. The tax alone might not change behaviour; but if it at least partly was used to subsidise programs to help educate people and help them adapt to a healthier diet, that would make a difference in the long-term.
There are other potential benefits to a fat tax. At the moment, the fattier foods are sometimes cheapest. For example plain old beef mince gets more expensive if you buy the less fat varieties - there can be more than a dollar or two a kilo difference between 25% fat mince and 5% mince. If the "fat tax" could then be used to subsidise healthier foods - that would make it easier for lower-income families to have a healthier diet.