Filed Under: Fat Taxes

O Canada! Our Fat-Taxed Native Land!?

It looks like bad ideas don’t stop at the border: Last week Dr. Ruth Collins-Nakai, the president of the Canadian Medical Association, called on the fat tax to combat childhood obesity woes. “She’s in good company,” commented Bill Jeffery of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that isn’t exactly friendly to the idea of personal responsibility.

That “good company” includes Yale professor Kelly Brownell, grandfather of the fat tax. Unfortunately for Dr. Collins-Nakai, Brownell has admitted publicly that “we don’t know” if fat taxes would actually do any good.

Edmonton columnist Mindelle Jacobs isn’t happy with the proposal for a Ministry of Junk Food:

The industry isn’t blind to the growing demand for healthier foods. There may be chocolate bars at the checkout, but grocery stores are also selling healthy, ready-to-eat foods like sandwiches and snackable veggies … “It’s hard to make people better off by taking money out of their pockets,” [Albertan economics professor Sean Cash] says. Figuring out which foods would be slapped with a fat tax would also be troublesome, Cash adds.

Canada’s not the first realm of the Commonwealth to see fat taxes floated, either — England and Australia have their share of fat tax advocates too.

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