The activist David Ludwig has argued that one way for governments to fight obesity is to tax fast food and soft drinks. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has proposed an eight-cent-per-pound tax on all meat and fish and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has suggested sin taxes on butter, potato chips, whole milk, cheeses and meat. The WHO has called for implementation of fat taxes as part of a comprehensive strategy to fight childhood and adult obesity. Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick proposed a two percent tax on fast food and New York state Senator Felix Ortiz has gone so far as to suggest extending the fat tax to "movie tickets, video games and DVD rentals."
Eighteen states now have some version of a "fat tax" (seven states have tried and then repealed such taxes) usually on what are called HFSS foods — high fat, salt and sugar.
The article goes on to point out that the revenue generated by those states that have "fat taxes" doesn't go towards raising consumer awareness about the hazards of eating junk foods. I think it would be a repeat of the windfall to the states from the tobacco settlement, don't you think? The funds from the tobacco companies were supposed to go to improve public health and increase education and those sorts of morally empty goals. Where did the money go? Right down the rat hole.
Of course, our elected encumbrances will pass "Twinkie Tax" laws because it looks good on their resumés. Bah!