Monday, August 11, 2008

Obesity Taxes

Two related news stories in the last week from France and Mexico dealt with obesity so I trimming the fat to combine them into one positing today :-)

  • France - despite the best selling book, "French Women Don't Get Fat" , apparently they do in France since their Budget Ministry is considering increasing taxes on fatty, sugary foods from the current 5.5% up to 19.6%. So will this tax policy reduce obesity or will people simply consume more foods that are taxed at the lesser rate or is this just a money grab by the government so they can "harmonize" (which in Western Europe always means up/higher!) all food tax rates in the future?

  • Mexico -- after dropping his weight from 1,235 pounds down to about 700 pounds Manuel Uribe of Monterrey, Mexico was able to leave his home for the first time in 5 years to visit a nearby lake with his girlfriend, Claudia Solis. Mr. Uribe is only 43 years old so I have to wonder - how is it possible that he could live/support himself for the last 5 years in terms of earning money since he could not leave his home? Did Ms. Solis supply all the resources, did a government program support him, is he independently wealthy, or did he rely on charity? This sounds cold-hearted but I have to say whoever "helped" him to remain trapped in his home by his obesity did not help him at all. Instead these enablers simply became prison guards.

I am off to the gym!


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