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New York says goodbye to the "fat tax"

Monday, March 16, 2009 Posted by Travis Saunders
Many of our readers are no-doubt aware of the recent proposal of a "Fat tax" to be levied on soda in New York. The idea was to charge a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in the Empire State, with the increased price acting as a deterrent, and reducing the number of calories consumed by New Yorkers in liquid form. Although the effectiveness of such a measure could be (and has been) debated, it appears that it was all for naught - Governor Paterson has decided that the money from the "fat tax" and numerous other small taxes are no longer needed due to billions of dollars that New York is receiving in the form stimulus money from the federal government.

I am a little disappointed, as I had envisioned this tax as a deterrent to soft drink consumption, rather than a way to generate income (although I have now read that it was originally devised as a way to reduce the State's budget gap). Although we will never know whether or not the fat tax itself would have improved nutrition among New Yorkers, let's hope that the State's commitment to obesity prevention does not disappear as quickly as the fat tax.


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2 Response to "New York says goodbye to the "fat tax""

  1. Hello Veggie Said,

    Thats really a shame that the gov cares more about the money than about the publics health, though it's not surprising whatsoever!

    Hello Veggie

    Posted on March 16, 2009 at 1:21 PM

  2. Travis Saunders, MSc Said,

    @ Hello Veggie - thanks for the comment, I completely agree. I'm still not sure if this tax would have much of an influence on obesity rates, but it's disappointing that the appeal of this tax was almost entirely from a financial perspective.

    Posted on March 16, 2009 at 1:40 PM


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We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.


The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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