Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fast food hates fat tax


Interesting video from CNBC indirectly related to the proposal to tax soda. The two guests featured, COO and CFO of Chick-Fil-A and Jason's Deli respectively, are happy to admit that lots of kids are obese and diabetic, but they believe "personal responsibility" is the culprit, not the fast food and junk food companies. I liked how the anchor pushed them on this. The best line is when the Jason's Deli CFO says yes, sugar and salt are addictive, but people have to "be aware" and make responsible choices. "It's about education, about educating people about what they're putting in their bodies." They are quick to assert that Washington didn't create this problem, and Washington isn't going to solve it. [Of course, as soft drinks have the highest profit margin of anything on the typical fast food menu, it's no wonder the big chains won't budge on this issue!]

When we consider that 43% of the American increase in caloric intake since 1970 has come from soft drinks, I would argue that Washington actually did create this problem -- namely, by subsidizing the corn industry which produces high-fructose corn syrup. Soda is undeniably extremely harmful, even deadly, so why is it even still allowed on our grocery store shelves and in our schools? Why is raw milk illegal in most states (unless sold right off the farm) but soda is everywhere -- and CHEAP to boot? It makes me so angry to think that some of our family's tax dollars are going to SUBSIDIZE American obesity and diabetes by way of corporate greed.

Anyone else out there angry about this?

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