• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Would It Be Economically Beneficial to Britain to Introduce An Obesity Tax?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Would It Be Economically Beneficial to Britain to Introduce An Obesity Tax? Although obesity is a worldwide phenomenon in the 21st century, its impact varies between countries. Across the Channel in France less than one person in ten is obese, while in Japan it's less than one in twenty (see Figure 1 below). In England, at present 1 in 4 of all Britons have been declared medically obese - with obesity rates for both men and women surging in recent years (see Figure 2 below). It has recently been predicted by several tabloid newspapers and the BBC that - "Britain is an Obesity Time bomb"- 30th August 2009 (Sunday Express) with "Half of Britons Obese by 2050"-17th October 2007 (Daily Mail). However in this piece of coursework I intend to look at what has caused the rise in obesity over the last 50 years and whether an 'Obesity Tax' is a viable option. Ali Muriel - Taxing the Fat - 2005 - www.ifs.org.uk The Cause So why are the obesity rates in the UK rising at such an alarming rate? Many factors have been blamed such as the press, fast food outlets, TV's and a lack of exercise. However the implication seems to be that either people are getting hungrier (eating more) ...read more.

Middle

suggests that it is in fact the changes in the technology of food production. Up until the 1980's a large percentage of food was home cooked. However with the invention of the microwave and the introduction of new preservatives food is preserved and ready to cook immediately. This eliminates the time cost as most food is now pre-washed and vacuum packed; this advance is down to the division of labour making goods cheaper. This revolution in food preparation means that we can consume both greater quantities and a greater variety of food than ever before. This, coupled with the changes in the technology of work and computer-based jobs, has caused the rise in obesity. What can be done? Obesity has costs for the whole society. On an individual basis there is a cost to health in terms of increased risk of diabetes, stroke etc. For the wider society within England, the cost to the NHS of treating obesity-related health conditions is estimated to be rising as high as �6.3 billion by 2015 (http://www.healthcarerepublic.com/news/934442/Cost-obesity-NHS-England-rise-62-billion/). The government have tried public information campaigns and educating the public on how to lower the risk of obesity, however none of these have halted the increase and therefore I believe an 'Obesity Tax' should be introduced. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion As can be seen on the table to the right the cost of obesity is rising and it needs to be subdued before the costs spiral out of control and it has an irreversible effect on the country. I have outlined above four options: 1) Taxing fat foods 2) Indirect taxation 3) Direct taxation 4) Tax reduction for company's or employees I believe that the best option would be the use of direct taxes coupled with the use of Tax reduction for companies or employees. The taxing of fat foods wouldn't work as people would still buy the food and therefore prices would need to rise to an extremely high price before people stopped buying them. However the use of tax reduction targets directly the employed and at the same time encourages the companies to think about their staff. If this measure proved successful the use of tax reduction on companies who use less saturated fats in their food could be introduced as this borrows some of the ideas from indirect taxation. The use of direct taxation would target the problem of obesity at the source (people who buy the fatty foods) and therefore would be a successful long term option to lower obesity and make it less financially viable for people to buy the food. At least until the companies themselves decrease the amount of fat in their products. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Economy & Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is an excellent piece of economic analysis. Although I fundamentally disagree with the practicality of the suggested solution I admire the arguments and analysis very much. It is systematically argued

Marked by teacher David Salter 12/02/2012

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Economy & Economics essays

  1. How do economic systems solve the problem of scarcity?

    Further, such a system is one of free enterprise, where producers freely choose the resources they use in the products they produce. Consumers have freedom of choice also, as do workers and owners or resources in general. Individuals and producers express their desires through the market system, where prices are

  2. Discuss whether economic efficiency as described in text books is likely to be able ...

    Monopoly is a single firm that produces all the output in the market, set price and erects barriers to entry or there are already natural barriers to entry present. Allocative efficiency is concerned with the ideal quantity of goods produced that maximizes consumer satisfaction.

  1. "Scarcity is the central economic problem in all societies, irrespective of the type of ...

    a problem, changes in interest rates among other macroeconomic factors, which will affect the way a business operates. Scarcity can be the result of a macroeconomic problem, no matter what economic system a country uses. In order for a countries economy to run well, a reasonable balance needs to be found between demand and aggregate supply.

  2. What is the economic system?How does Australia's economic system attempts to solve the economic ...

    While most developed nations today could be classified as having mixed economies, they are often said to have a greater influence of market economy ideals as they allow market forces to drive most of their activities, typically engaging in government intervention only to the extent that it is needed to provide stability.

  1. Main characteristics of free market economy

    progressing increase in the production targets.However, in generally production targets are not reached because of the lack of personal incentive and motivation to achieve beyond the target, opposed to a free market economy where the "competition" between firms and business drives the market.

  2. A Summary of Chapters One and Two In The Book New Ideas From Dead ...

    He further argues that an economy should capitalize on the way the human mind works, harnessing its potential. He also points out that people do things only for themselves. When people in a market do things only for themselves, a phenomenon occurs Smith entitled the "invisible hand."

  1. Critically evaluate the perceived competitive starategies of the five clothing retail outlets, namely Edgars, ...

    1. Environmental Factors Market pressure has been exacerbated by low per capita incomes, the breakdown of the central business districts, low operating margins and changing shopping habits. In the 1990s, South Africans started to divert their disposable income to

  2. Goodrich-RabobankInterest Rate Swap:

    Historically, Rabobank was able to fund these loans through the following: * Interbank deposits at LIBOR. * Prime Eurodollar CD's. This was the first time that Rabobank would venture into the Eurobond market. Note: Because of Rabobank's AAA rating it would be able to borrow in the Eurodollar market at very competitive rates.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work