From Treat to Threat: Scottish Chocolate Tax Defeated

| By two votes, the British Medical Association (BMA) has rejected a motion calling for a sin tax on chocolate in the United Kingdom. Dr. David Walker, of Lanarkshire, Scotland, says the treat poses at least as much a threat to health as alcohol does in the U.K., and should be taxed accordingly. “Obesity is a mushrooming problem. We are heading the same way as the United States,” he told the BBC. “I see chocolate as a major player in this.”

But after this week’s vote, the chocolate tax looks about as unlikely as the sex tax we proposed a while back. Sweet. [%comments]

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  1. David says:

    New York State is proposing an 18% “Obesity Tax” on sugar (but not diet) soft drinks which should garner about $450 million in tax revenues. This sort of approach should be continued with a progressively increasing tax encouraging consumers to substitute diet for sugar soft drinks.

    New York City also has a program that puts 1,500 fruit and vegetable street vendors in poor neighborhoods where these items are generally not available in food stores.

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  2. RZ says:

    Those rascally Scots are probably just trying to get Walker’s Shortbread biscuits to move up past Cadbury’s chocolates as the go-to snack in the U.K. Since both are delicious, the consumer wins either way.

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  3. Jason says:

    Well it would seem to be great news that the state attempted to take matters into their own hands by increasing the cost of unhealthy/luxurious food and items. But what about lowering tax (or subsidizing) basic food, healthy food, organic vegetable and fruits. If the government was really “concerned about helping people eat healthier they would promote the good stuff by giving them tax breaks with this method.

    Otherwise what they attempted was just an excuse to
    fatten the state coffers whilst the consumers have nothing to do but comply.


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  4. Byron Walker says:

    Most would gladly take a a few months off the end of their lives to have enjoyed chocolate regularly during their lives. Of course, there is the separate issue of whether chocolate is a root cause of obesity. More accurately, excess calories through fat and sugar is a matter for focus. But I bet far more sugar is consumed per capita through prepared foods like ketshup than that of chocolate. Or most clearly, if the public decides that sugar consumption is to be curtailed, start where it matters, tax sodas. BTW, in the US domestic sugar production is a subsidized.

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  5. Blank Xavier says:

    What business is it of any doctor or indeed of *anyone* else what I do, say, eat, drink or think?

    If I want to eat chocolate and I know what it will do to me and I *choose* to do so, natch! there it is. It’s FREEDOM.

    The reason it’s an issue in the UK is because the State runs medical care so you are “taking” from everyone else to “pay” the medical bills for your choice.

    Since the State doesn’t allow you to opt out of nationalised health care, that argument is completely bogus.

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  6. frankenduf says:

    i’m with RZ- the “doctor” probably was bribed by the lollipop industry

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  7. Jonathan Katz says:

    It is not the cocoa that causes obesity, it is the added fat and sugar. A tablespoon of cocoa powder has only 20 calories.


    Hot chocolate: Add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract to a cup of hot water.

    Chocolate syrup dessert: Take 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and add just enough olive oil to moisten it, stirring with a spoon. Eat straight, or use as a dip for celery sticks, carrot sticks, zuccini sticks, etc.

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  8. Sandra Winters says:

    “Jenn” has at least part of this right, although I certainly don’t agree with all her statement. (Neither obesity due soley to overeating, nor alcoholism, are “conditions” or “diseases” that need “treatment” at the expense of the taxpayer or government. They are sinful behavior that needs to be repented of and stopped. I know that comment will garner some hatred, but lack of self-control is a sin according to God’s Word. The proper avenue for help with such conditions is a Biblical church and the Bible itself.) However, government efforts would be much better directed at finding ways to lower the price of healthful food, rather than taxing unhealthful foods. Studies in US schools have shown that when the cost of healthy snacks in a snack food machine were lowered to match the cost of junk food in the snack machine next to it, the healthy food snack machine saw a huge increase in sales, while the junk food machine saw a significant drop.

    This is certainly not the whole problem. But when a lower-middle class to lower class income family simply cannot afford fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, this is NOT their fault.

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