Over the past decades, obesity has become a serious problem that governments have to tackle.In fact it has been discussed for years but still there is not a certain solution to obesity.Governments and academists discuss it and provide information about the obesity epidemic but providing information is not enough, in some cases, to take notice and to care about the damaging outcomes of fast-food.So, to prevent the negative effects of spreading fast-food culture, governments should implement more taxes on junk foods and soft drinks, which are causing obesity.Taxes imposed on them canalso enhance the awareness of society. Because in general, people do not care about health information but if the subject is money, people would begin to think about the reasons of the raise in taxes and they realize the negative effects of junk foods. First of all, fast-food changes our lifestyles and eating habits.
As a tradition in the past, families came together for supper and had quality time with all members of the family.However, the fast-food and junkfoodsectors have become famous and theyhave shown people that there is an easier and “faster” way of eating.Because of this, people do not get together for family dinners and it equals less time with family.Especially among adolescents, junkfood and softdrinks have a huge role ontheir eating habits.According to Binkley (2006), increasing dependence on food eaten away from home (FAFH) is one of the most significant changes in American diets over the past decades.He emphasises that the increase in FAFH in total food expenses is 14% between 1970 and 2003.
As a result, these figures show that next generationswould tend to be estranged from family in home and traditional family suppers.Moreover, another effect of fast-food in terms of social issues is that junkfoods and softdrinks make people more impatient.People were not as impatient as today, compared with the past.Besides technological improvements, fast-food culture causes people to be precipitant in every respect including eating. So fast-food services cause many people to lose their patience.
Furthermore, other part of rationales to increase taxes on junkfood, softdrinks, snackfoods and/or fast-food is economical necessities.Whilst governments work on informing people about obesity and its harms, fastfood chains also make a budget for their advertisements.Kim and Kawachi (2006), state that there would be some information problems between consumers and producers because of U.S. government response through market failure.They assert surpassing government expenses to support healthy eating, the massive advertising budgets of fast-food companies may distort consumers’ knowledge about a healthy diet.The spread between these measures causes people to be persuaded by advertisements of the fast-food sector. Additionally, even if governments take steps about fast-food such as increasing taxes a little bit, obese people may not care about the difference between costs and they would be willing to pay more.
In their article, Kim and Kawashi (2006), remark that economic analyses have forecasted that smokers tend to pay more through cigarette excise taxes and such analysises for junk foods and obesity could contribute to specify the appropriate level of excise taxes on these foods. In addition to them,in terms of health, junk foods and soft drinks which are known for their excessive sugar levels, fatten people stealthily and as a result of that people suffer from heart diseases and laziness. It may seemunsignificant, but for governments, laziness of people is another serious problem.
However, some people are of the opinion that obesity is caused by genetic issues and it is similar to a inheriting an illness. Hereby, they imply that higher taxes imposed on fast-food would be redundant for people whose genetic carrier does not show obesity and it will cause them to pay more. According to a research by Helen et al. (n.d.), low-income obese teenagers and their mothers perception is that obesity is related with family genes, side effects of medication use and stress-filled life events while high income adolescents accuse genetic factors and emotional problems. Nevertheless, Lokuruka (2013), describes obesity as an outcome of inaccurate and imbalanced energy intake leading to an increased stock of energy, especially as fat.
Also he claims it is hard to distinguish between genetics and environmental factors. He also asserts that obesity is related to high energy intake, enormously consumed fatty meats and oily foods combined with low physical movement. Likewise over-eating, alteration of dietary habituation, being urbanized,modernization and the socioeconomic class may be conducive to obesity.These are the causes except genetics. Genetics isa significant factor but it should not be seen as definitive.So, that does not mean taxes do not have to be imposed on junkfoods and soft drinks because other determinants are also remarkable. All in all, fast-food culture has social and economically based impacts on society.Besides that, the obesity epidemic is a serious issue.Although some people advocate that obesity depends on genetics, negative effects of fast-food culture can not be ignored.Higher taxes should be implemented on junk foods and soft drinks.The more taxes imposed on junk food, the healthier society we have.
BINKLEY, J. K. (2006). The Effect of Demographic, Economic, and Nutrition Factors on the Frequency of Food Away from Home.Journal Of Consumer Affairs, 40(2), 372-391.
Kim, D., & Kawachi, I. (2006). Food taxation and pricing strategies to “thin out” the obesity epidemic. American Journal Of Preventive Medicine, 30(5), 430-437.
Helen, G., David A., G., Cora P., A., Ludmila, M., Patrícia, T., Maria C., A., & … Pedro C., H. (n.d). Original article: Adolescents’ Perception of Causes of Obesity: Unhealthy Lifestyles or Heritage?. Journal Of Adolescent Health, 51(Supplement), S46-S52.
Lokuruka, M. I. (2013). A LITERATURE REVIEW OF ROLE OF OBESITY IN ADULT HEALTH WITH REFERENCE TO AFRICA. African Journal Of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition & Development, 13(1), 7088-7104.