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Health Report 2/13/13 Fat Tax

Health Report 2/13/13 Fat Tax
February 13th, 2013

It seems we're getting creamed in the fight against obesity.
It's a factor in close to three million deaths each year in the U.S.
So, is it time to tackle our weight problem with a tax?
Lou Baxter weighs in.

We're bombarded by fast food, fat food, sugary foods, just plain bad for you foods.
To get control of this weighty issue, governments want more control of your cash.

Dr. Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco: "Who do you want in your kitchen? The federal government who will take your wallet and your freedom, or the food industry, who has already taken your wallet, your freedom, and your health?"

The fat tax, a.k.a the Twinkie tax, is a hard sell, charging consumers more for foods high in calories, fat, and sugar, and low in nutrition.
We put people through the fat tax test, during a non-scientific 30 day experiment. We charged a buck each time any of them ate food on our list.

Susan Bekaert,fat tax participant: "I go out to lunch probably four days a week."

Susan Bekaert is like most Americans.
Susan: "I'd like a number ten."

After 30 days, the harsh reality of what she eats, too many chips, too much soda!

Susan Bekaert: "Absolutely it surprises me."
Liefke Cox and Richard Myers are raising a growing boy! Peanut butter and processed meats make a quick meal, loaded with sugar and fat.
Jordan Hylton found out the cost of a poor diet the hard way. With help from her little sister, they counted up just how much a tax would cost her family.  It wasn't the cost that worried their mother, it was not knowing exactly what she was feeding her girls.

Courtney Hylton, concerned mother: "And that's what's frustrating! Like, I don't want to spend three hours in a grocery store reading labels."

In all, our participants paid five hundred and fifty two dollars to the fat tax, in one month.
Courtney Hylton: "And that's a lot of money wasted."

 I'm Lou Baxter reporting.
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