Is a "Fat Tax" in Your Future?

Is a "Fat Tax" in Your Future?
By: Holly Brantley
Could a 'Fat Tax' help us all live a better life? It's an idea that's stirred a decades worth of controversy. Here's how it works. The so called fat tax would ad to the cost of junk food. Those who are in favor of the tax say it would curb obesity by making it cheaper to eat healthy. But, opponents argue one big problem with the fat tax is that funds are typically  not spent on obesity prevention programs.

So, What do people in the Heartland think about this fat tax?

Basically it all depends on how much you like to eat junk Twenkies. People say deciding what to eat is a habit and it's probably going to take more than a few cents to turn those kind of behaviors around.

Let's start at Blimpies. Managers of the restaurant say many customers choose to eat at Blimpies because they are watching with waist line. "They're more conscious about what they choose to eat," said Amanda Hequembourg. "They walk in the door and they know we serve more healthy food."

Here are Amanda's thoughts on a 'fat tax': "I think it's ridiculous. People can choose what they want to eat. Why should they charge more for eating something that may not be what the government thinks is more nutritious than something else."

Some customers say a tax on fattening food might be a good idea. Especially if it made healthy food seem more affordable. "I usually eat unhealthy food because it's cheaper." said Tiffany Goehmen. Tiffany is a student at Southeast Missouri State University. "I don't have any money so, if healthy food was cheaper I would but it."

What about My Daddy's Cheese Cake? Owners say many people request their low calories treats. But, it's still a spot to indulge. "I'm against a fat tax," said co-owner Wes Kinsey. "Not only because it might affect our product and our pricing but also because I don't think it's right for the government to get involved in an area in which they are trying to dictate to someone what they should or should not eat."

Those in the Health and Fitness field also have any opinion. "In conecpt I think it's a good idea," said Fitness Plus Operations Manager, Sandy Duncan. "But, in reality I don't think a couple of cents is going to make a difference."

Amy Eagan is a nurse. Eagan agrees, "People are going to eat junk food if they really want to. It's a lot like smoking."

"We're talking about food," said Shawn Taylor of Fitness plus. "People use food as an emotional therapy so it'll take something pretty dramatic for them to change their eating behaviors."