You’ll Never Guess Where in America the First Junk Food Tax Has Been Legislated

Soda Tax


Though many had expected New York City to be the first to pass a soda / junk food tax, Michael Bloomberg was unsuccessful in passing such legislation during his tenure as mayor. Fierce opposition from junk food and beverage companies, together with their lobbyists, has struck down all such initiatives in cities and states across the nation. This happened, despite unequivocal proof that junk foods and drinks are direct contributors to obesity and related disease, most notably diabetes.

One group that has been extremely hard hit by diabetes is Native Americans, who are battling an epidemic that has struck practically every family in the Indian Nations. In a landmark piece of legislation late last month, the Navajo Nation Council passed the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2013. It includes a 2 percent tax that will be imposed on soft drinks, cookies, candy, savory snacks, and other junk food.

According to the First Nations Development Institute, The revenue will be used by Navajo chapters to develop community parks, basketball courts, walking, running and bike trails, community gardens, family picnic grounds, and health education classes. Read more…

As with any type of taxation, there will be supporters and opponents to this move. No doubt, price hikes will decrease consumption. Just look at cigarette taxes. Yet unlike cigarettes, an occasional soda or candy is not going to kill anyone. Furthermore, where do you draw the line between junk food and nutritious chow? How much sugar in a protein bar qualifies it as junk food vs. a health food?

One thing is certain. The manufacturers of junk foods and beverages have externalized many of the societal costs of the products they manufacture and sell. The profits of these corporations have ballooned in line with global obesity. Perhaps its time these companies share the financial burden of obesity instead of us?

What do you think? Should junk food be taxed?

  • Mr Gonzo

    Only 2%? If it’s such a problem, tax it like cigarettes and liquor. 25-40%.

  • Utopia

    I don’t think it’s up to the government to tell its citizens what food they shouldn’t be eating. While education is welcomed, taxing seems self-suiting. Is a 2% tax really going it deter soda addicts? Seems like the only party benefiting will be the government with the extra revenu. Besides this, I personally don’t care about an added tax as I don’t drink soda and never will.

    • MARA

      It IS up to the government to regulate what ingredients can be allowed by manufacturers. If they were doing their jobs of banning things like GMOs, etc., there would be no need to tax consumers.

  • M

    Good article, and I love and follow the blog. Please don’t stoop to linkbaiting.

  • Joedredd

    Tax the hell out of that crap! That stuff is killing people

  • Aria Gonzalez

    Good for them. I’m just a little worried someone will try a ‘fat tax’ like… was it Denmark? Butter IS NOT bad for you, people!

  • Kimberly Louise

    Hi, nice blog Really very interesting post shared above. Awaiting for more
    posts like this.

  • Farmfemme

    A walk in the park is no cure for the damage done by high fructose corn syrup.

  • brista

    lol at the idea that these products are being consumed in ACTUAL moderation. For every 1 person who has an 8-oz serving of soda once a week IF it fits into their leftover “discretionary calories”, there are probably THOUSANDS who have at least several very large servings of soda a DAY. Even when people WANT to consume junk food garbage in “moderation” it can be very difficult because the junk food manufacturers specifically formulate these products in labs to be addictive so you will purchase more.

  • Abby

    It’s all about educating the people on healthy eating and making wise decisions at the grocery store. If consumers cease to buy junk food, producers will have no choice but to switch gears to more healthy choices. The answer shouldn’t be taxation. It’s about allowing people to make their own decisions.

  • Kimba

    Another problem with this is “comparitive pricing”… For example: when you have a 12oz coke for 99 cents & then a 64oz coke on “sale” for the same price people like that they are getting a “deal” & will gorge out on the sugar just to get that deal… This is is done with throughout the junk food industry & needs to stop. Why isn’t it done with the so called “healthier choices”?