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We are all aware of ingredients that are generally unhealthy for us (and not just in excess), and we are equally aware of foods that are better for us (whole grains, vegetables, nuts, etc.). All packaged food is already required to include all ingredients due to consumer laws, so it is just a matter
of evaluating how healthy/unhealthy all ingredients are and how much is included into each serving. This way, food producers have an incentive to produce healthier foods for which they will receive a credit when produced, versus a higher tax on food products deemed generally unhealthy. Exemptions would be made for food producers that gross less than a certain amount in a year i.e. farmer's markets, etc.
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||What [8th] said, plus WKTE. The so-called "sugar
tax" already exists in some places, and has been
heavily discussed in the UK, as a means of
discouraging high-sugar drinks and snacks.
||But mainly what [8th] said. Put it this way: if I want
to make triple-chocolate cookies with extra high-
fructose corn syrup and a sugar frosting; and then
sell them to [8th]; what business is it of my
||Seems like a good idea. Lower income families often make
unhealthy choices because they fit the budget. A tax/credit
plan might put healthier choices in the same price range,
improving consumer health and perhaps forcing out the high
sugar, high carb glop. [+]
||what [Max] will say next.
||On the other hand, setting a limit on the amount of sugar, grease, salt, addictives in commercially produced food could work.
||How is that better or different? Again - if I want to
make and sell things with lots of fat, sugar and salt in
them - what business is it of anyone else?
||The only legal requirement should be that food is
clearly and accurately labelled so that people can
make informed decisions.
||Social engineering? How about I describe that with another word: Marketing. Most big food producers are in the business of making money over other things and if that means that they use HFCS and pack it with preservatives to extend the shelf life, that's what they'll do. If the government was in the health care business, it would make sense to incentive healthy lifestyles and food choices unless of course health companies and government colluded to keep us unhealthy in order to keep them wealthy.