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Chewing over a junk-food tax

August 27, 2009

Re "Junk-food tax idea is gaining weight," Aug. 23

Putting a tax on junk food to cut down on widespread (so to speak) obesity sounds like a winner. While we're at it, why not tax all salty food? Think of the water we'd save.

Bill Robbins

Los Angeles

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Your front-page story spotlights a negative and ineffective approach to fighting obesity (taxing processed foods and thereby penalizing those who have the least).

The idea of taxing junk food draws attention from promoting both physical activity and fresh-food consumption.

Physical activity is the inexpensive antidote to everything from cardiovascular disease to obesity to depression, yet we give it virtually no attention at a policy level.

Cheaper prices for fruits and vegetables boost their consumption, as your article points out.

Tim Church

Baton Rouge, La.

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The most effective way to shape -- no pun intended -- American habits is through their wallets.

Just as people carpooled more when gas was $4 a gallon or more, so will they drink less soda if it's 60% more expensive.

Further, raise the CRV dramatically so people will recycle more. It's all good for the country in the short and long run.

Joseph DeMello

Long Beach

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This notion of taxing junk food is nonsense.

The solution is to eat food low in calories and burn more calories than you consume, and you will not gain weight.

Or, in a more simple vernacular: Eat less and exercise more -- and you will not gain weight.

We should not interject the intrusive, gluttonous government into every private and personal decision.

Richard Platt

Universal City, Texas

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I believe the article regarding taxing junk food focused on the wrong issue.

The primary goal and the premise behind a junk-food tax should be that those who eat unhealth foods should contribute more toward healthcare reform and national healthcare.

Greg Lites

Los Angeles

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Thanks to your reporter for the interesting article.

I am all for the government exploring new ideas and am sympathetic to any efforts to reduce our rampant obesity rates, but actually implementing a junk-food tax just seems moronic.

I hope a thousand other ideas are turned up before this freedom-reducing, ineffective gambit flies.

Here's one: Take the money with which the government subsidizes the production of high-fructose corn syrup and spend that on obesity education.

Mike Flanagan

Silver Lake

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