16. Junk Food Tax

A junk food tax of at least 15% should be levied on ‘junk foods’ that exceed a certain calorie-to-nutritional value ratio as determined by an unbiased organization of food and health professionals. Generally, foods containing excessively high amounts of saturated fats, salt, fat, carbohydrates and/or sugar would be classified as junk foods. Soda and French fries would fall into this category. Although each country should, at the very least, develop its own ratio which would define the boundaries of junk food, the ideal approach would be to work towards developing a global standard definition of junk food by agreeing and adhering to one common ratio. Therefore, a United Nations body or another reputable international health organization should eventually be responsible for developing the definition of junk food and coming up with a calorie-to-nutritional value ratio. Nevertheless, it may not be practical to have just one ratio applied to the definition of junk food globally due to the infeasibility of applying the same standard to dramatically different cultural dietary norms.

Salt and Sugar Tax

Additionally, salt and sugar packages intended for human consumption should also have special taxes imposed, but only at the wholesale level. A retail level tax would be too labor intensive logistically and overly complicate the tax system at the retail level.  This wholesale tax should be set perhaps at around 15%. This tax would naturally be reflected at the retail level to contribute to the desired effect of reducing the human consumption of salt and sugar.

Liquor and Tobacco

Liquor products should also fall under this junk food category and be levied this tax. Tobacco, although not a source for any significant amount of neither calories nor nutritional value, nevertheless should also be defined as a junk food.


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