Tax the Fat Watch

SammyD
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Did anyone see this programme on More4? It's about the idea that fat people cost the economy nearly £3billion a year by loss of earnings, disability claims, and increased NHS costs. The presenter was trying to encourage the idea that fat people should be taxed an extra 1% for every BMI point over 30 (the threshold for obesity), eg a BMI of 34 pays an extra 4% of tax.

He certainly put together a better argument in favour of the tax than the fat people could against it, really all they had to say was that it is not their fault that they are fat. What do you guys think about it?
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History_is...
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I don't know, it seems a little fascist! Maybe taxing products that contribute to obesity in order to discourage people buying them eg fast food would be a better idea?
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20083
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(Original post by History_is...)
I don't know, it seems a little fascist! Maybe taxing products that contribute to obesity in order to discourage people buying them eg fast food would be a better idea?
They already do that. Junk food, ready meals, etc. have higher tax on them.

The BMI is only an indication to an ideal weight for a person and does not take in factors such as muscle so to even suggest using it is preposterous.
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Jonatan
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(Original post by SammyD)
Did anyone see this programme on More4? It's about the idea that fat people cost the economy nearly £3billion a year by loss of earnings, disability claims, and increased NHS costs. The presenter was trying to encourage the idea that fat people should be taxed an extra 1% for every BMI point over 30 (the threshold for obesity), eg a BMI of 34 pays an extra 4% of tax.

He certainly put together a better argument in favour of the tax than the fat people could against it, really all they had to say was that it is not their fault that they are fat. What do you guys think about it?
Better idea is to tax the fat food, and maybe reduce taxation on healthy food.That would make it more affordable for people on a low income to eat healthy ( veg can be quite pricey when you are on a tight budget ), and it would not hurt people who do their best trying to maintain their weight but still fail because of matters outside their controll ( disabilities preventing excercise, unfortunate genes, diseases etc ). The administrative costs would be much smaller as well as you would not have to assess wether someone was obese or not. It would also be more consistent with the current policy on other harmful goods, such as smoking or alcohol.
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u_cheeky_girl
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what about the people who are over-weight and work all their lifes and the people who are slim and don't, i might be wrong but wouldn't that mean that fat people that work get taxed extra for people that don't, just beacuse they are overweight??
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History_is...
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Jonatan that is precisely what i meant but it is late and i am feeling lazy Lol thankyou for explaining properly!
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RieLouise
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(Original post by SammyD)
Did anyone see this programme on More4? It's about the idea that fat people cost the economy nearly £3billion a year by loss of earnings, disability claims, and increased NHS costs. The presenter was trying to encourage the idea that fat people should be taxed an extra 1% for every BMI point over 30 (the threshold for obesity), eg a BMI of 34 pays an extra 4% of tax.

He certainly put together a better argument in favour of the tax than the fat people could against it, really all they had to say was that it is not their fault that they are fat. What do you guys think about it?
It's being discussed on D&D.

'the fat people'? I'd imagine they're as heterogeneous as the rest of us. And BMI is only part of the story.
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poltroon
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(Original post by History_is...)
I don't know, it seems a little fascist!
Could you expand?

Fascism is a trickly word to define you see.
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History_is...
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(Original post by poltroon)
Could you expand?

Fascism is a trickly word to define you see.
Lol fine BE like that! It is late and I don't want to define it - i attempted to do that in my oxford exam and was no nearer a solution after many pages of random writing so no! I simply meant it seems a little authoritarian and socially distorted to tax people based on BMI. Bad choice of words i see now.
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_jackofdiamonds
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How about we don't tax anyone.
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History_is...
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(Original post by _jackofdiamonds)
How about we don't tax anyone.

Hmm i dont think that would help either the obesity issue or the crisis in the NHS sorry!
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poltroon
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(Original post by History_is...)
Lol fine BE like that! It is late and I don't want to define it - i attempted to do that in my oxford exam and was no nearer a solution after many pages of random writing so no! I simply meant it seems a little authoritarian and socially distorted to tax people based on BMI. Bad choice of words i see now.
haha I got a book from the library today on Fascism (part of it discussed the problems with coming up with a satisfactory definition) so I thought I could start to be all cleverclogs about it! Anyway, usage accepted.
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Howard
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People are fat for one of two reasons - normally a combination of both - they eat too much and don't get enough exercise. Simple math - Calories in > Calories out = fat.

So how about taxing video games, TV's, and all the other gizmos that encourage people to sit around doing nothing all day?

How about reducing pub opening hours - boozing is about the most fattenning activity anyone can involve themselves in.

How about stopping the disgraceful act of selling off school sports fields to housing developers and making PE feature more heavily on the curriculum?

We need a complete change of mindset - taxing fatty foods by itself (asides from hitting the poor hardest) is disingeneous - we need to become a sporting nation that values activity over passivity.
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bunthulhu
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I think it would work as quite a good deterrent to stop people getting overweight in the first place? People who get fat through being lazy and eating junk food and then have a lot of expensive health problems as a result, are the problem here. And I have to admit they annoy me! There needs to be something to put them off doing it, I don't think a slight increase in tax would necessarily be so terrible?

May I just add: Some people are overweight due to a health condition or genetic defect. They shouldn't be taxed extra because it isn't their fault; many physically cannot lose the weight.
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JonD
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Hey, Howard, I know there are a lot of people who want to get active but can't find the motivation. Oddly, the initial motivation is often there - they may buy some new trainers, but they'll never get out of the door with them on for long.

Here's my solution: They hand over a few hundred quid as a deposit and sign a dotted line, they then only get the cash back if they attend council-run sporting or running sessions for six weeks. It takes advantage of the initial drive people have and gives them an incentive to follow things through to the end. The money that never gets reclaimed can be shared out to those who manage to complete the program.

This probably won't exactly help the badly obese who can't run and those who are happy to be fat, but it's a start if we really want a fitter nation.
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Howard
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(Original post by JonD)
Hey, Howard, I know there are a lot of people who want to get active but can't find the motivation. Oddly, the initial motivation is often there - they may buy some new trainers, but they'll never get out of the door with them on for long.

Here's my solution: They hand over a few hundred quid as a deposit and sign a dotted line, they then only get the cash back if they attend council-run sporting or running sessions for six weeks. It takes advantage of the initial drive people have and gives them an incentive to follow things through to the end. The money that never gets reclaimed can be shared out to those who manage to complete the program.

This probably won't exactly help the badly obese who can't run and those who are happy to be fat, but it's a start if we really want a fitter nation.
Actually I think that's a fairly good idea Jon. People need to be encouraged to be active and yet gym memberships aren't cheap - I think a David Lloyd will run you about 60 or 70 sovs a month - not really something for the working poor.

I think money would be well spent on council facilities and/or some sort of assistance to join private clubs. Inevitibely someone's going to moan and say "why should I subsidize someone else's recreation?" and that's a fair point in a short-sighted sort of way. However, the alternative is probably far more expensive.

And I think once people get to the gym they'll find out just how enjoyable it is and get hooked and if you can get people interested in keeping fit early enough in life it's a habit they'll take to the grave.

Asides from the (NHS) cost savings that the government would enjoy in the long run I am also a firm believer in mind, body, and spirit being in general harmony with one another. A healthy body equals a healthy mind. A fitter and more mentally sharp population will, I have no doubt, result in greater efficiency and productivity in the workplace and that's good for the economy and the common prosperity.

In fact, I think this would be a bloody good, (and ambitious) policy for a manifesto.
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silverbolt
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(Original post by _jackofdiamonds)
How about we don't tax anyone.
yes thats an intelligent idea *sarcasm*

i think its a good idea make it ten quid for big mac and 20 quid for the meal and watch everyone stop going there (thre foods bad enough anyway).

But why stop there? What about smokers (of which im one) why should the NHS pay for health problems i get from self inflicted harm. Though the price on cigarettes is stupidly high anyway.
Alchoholism again self inflicted.
Drug addiction self inflicted
and so on.

Of course the plan falls apart when someone who is overwieght and its not through overeating and poor exercise but its glandualr or something like that. Then its not fair as its not the persons fault and theres not a whole lot they can do about it
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deedee8
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(Original post by Howard)
Actually I think that's a fairly good idea Jon. People need to be encouraged to be active and yet gym memberships aren't cheap - I think a David Lloyd will run you about 60 or 70 sovs a month - not really something for the working poor.

I think money would be well spent on council facilities and/or some sort of assistance to join private clubs. Inevitibely someone's going to moan and say "why should I subsidize someone else's recreation?" and that's a fair point in a short-sighted sort of way. However, the alternative is probably far more expensive.

And I think once people get to the gym they'll find out just how enjoyable it is and get hooked and if you can get people interested in keeping fit early enough in life it's a habit they'll take to the grave.

Asides from the (NHS) cost savings that the government would enjoy in the long run I am also a firm believer in mind, body, and spirit being in general harmony with one another. A healthy body equals a healthy mind. A fitter and more mentally sharp population will, I have no doubt, result in greater efficiency and productivity in the workplace and that's good for the economy and the common prosperity.

In fact, I think this would be a bloody good, (and ambitious) policy for a manifesto.
Please tell me you're joking!!
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1013
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(Original post by Cadre_Of_Storms)
Of course the plan falls apart when someone who is overwieght and its not through overeating and poor exercise but its glandualr or something like that.
Ha ha, I love it when people claim that the reason they are fat is glandular! It's food and not enough exercise; simple as that.Obviously some people gain weight easier than others but that's just life.
I don't think taxing fatty foods is the right answer. For one thing, it's not fair on the skinny people. I eat McD's about 3 times a week but am not fat and don't really relish the thought of having a massive tax whacked on my Extra Value Meal to compensate for people who are.
The best idea I've heard is taking hte deposit and giving it back if enough exercise is done / weight lost.
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Jen2327
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Its abit against rights isnt it, surely everyone deserves tobe treated equally.
Although in a way u can kinda of see where ur coming from!
but we shud jst increase tax on fast food, etc etc
its a tricky subject.
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