Recently Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer proposed a $50 annual fee for unhealthy behavior. Possible examples: Obese people who don't follow a doctor-supervised health plan or smokers who shun programs that could help them quit. And as you can imagine -- the media and Arizonians alike are in a tizzy over the concept of a "fat tax."
If you ask me, it sounds like Arizona's really on to something. A fee for being fat or a wage for your weight, however you put it, individuals would finally be paying for their lack of good choices. Not just with regard to their health, either. We're talking paper money here, ladies. Dollars. Loot. Greenbacks.
Hallelujah! Our land of the free is becoming a land for the fat, and obesity alone is costing America $150 to $270 billion per year. A fat tax for all, I say!
There are loads of reasons Brewer's idea for a fat tax would reduce obesity nationwide.
First off, am I the only one who'd be a little embarrassed paying a fat tax? Can you imagine how much that would hurt your ego? A few years ago, I found the motivation I needed to cut calories after seeing photos of myself at a friend's birthday party. But photos don't work for everyone. If a national initiative began, then those who didn't have the motivation before are suddenly made accountable. Who wants to shell out an extra $50 or more every year for something they can change? AND it's a decision that betters you, as a person. Hello, America! It's your conscience. I'm suffocating under all this chub.
It's unfortunate that it's gotten to this point, really. When you're obese, food is often addictive. And when you're addicted, like cigarette smokers, you'll take whatever means possible to fill your cravings. A fat tax may be the extra push that some citizens need to cut the crap, literally, from their diets.
Yes, I understand that there would be a start-up fee for a national initiative of this size. But really, I don't think there's a price to be put on helping to make a healthier America. Look at the rest of the world -- Beijing, China, for one example. There, they have organized calisthenics. Here? We have McDonald's, Wendy's, Arby's ... you get the picture. If a fat tax will do the trick and change our title as one of the most obese countries in the world, then so be it.
Do you think a fat tax would work in the U.S.?
Image via stopnlook/Flickr