Nevada Fast Food Tax: Help Us Help Ourselves
- Feb 20, 2013 | Gail Cole
Let's face it, Americans are fat.
It has been well documented that Americans -- and indeed people all over the globe -- are heavier than we used to be. This has caused a wide variety of issues, from the need to redesign airline seats to an increase in children with type 2 diabetes.
There is no shortage of proposed solutions, but the truth is, once weight accumulates, it can be difficult to lose. To that end, a number of state and local governments have suggested regulating us into better health:
- New York City is just weeks away from a partial ban on purchases of super-sized soda and sugar drinks.
- Two cities in California tried (and failed) to impose a soda tax in 2012.
- Soft drinks are subject to sales tax in Washington state, while milk and many fruit and vegetables juices are not.
AB 122 reads:
"A fee is hereby imposed on each retail sale in this State by a fast-food provider of any item of prepared food intended for immediate consumption which has a caloric content of 500 calories or more, in the amount of 5 cents for each such item."
A Weighty Issue
Motivation for the tax is simple. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published data on the state of Nevada's waistlines:
- 59% of adults (18 and over) are overweight, while 22.4% are obese;
- 13.4% of highschool students are overweight, and 11% are obese; and
- 14.6% of children aged 2 to 5 are overweight, and a whopping 13.6% are obese.
Mr. Munford has said that "the growing problem of obesity and poor health from excessive fast food consumption inspired his bill." He hopes the tax "would deter people from eating out so frequently." Revenue raised by the tax would go towards "helping hospitals and improving Nevada's education system."
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