Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

Fat Tax study gone wrong March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — erylin @ 6:48 pm

Tax junk food:  that’ll help.

A recent study involving 42 mothers were given 22$ to feed a family of 4 for a week.   

In the simulated supermarket, the women had the choice of 30 healthy and 30 junk food items, four healthy beverages — two types of juice, skim milk and water — and four sugary drinks, all represented in images.  The women went shopping five times. The first time, the prices of all the food and drink items were on par with those in a local supermarket.  Twice, the prices of healthier foods — those that deliver more nutrients for fewer calories — were lowered, and on the remaining two shopping trips, the prices of the unhealthy food and drink items were raised.  The researchers found that hiking the price of junk food, as would happen with a so-called “sin tax,” was more effective at getting the women to buy a week’s shopping that was lower in overall calories than was cutting the price of the healthy food items.

I have so many issues with this study its crazy…first off…..42  people is hardly a good enough sample to even call this an experiment, and, at least at MY university would be thrown out for too small a sample size, but apparently it was good enough for the University of Buffalo (hardly a top research facility) psych dept.   Secondly, unless i am eating ramen and mac and cheese 4 nights a week, I don’t know ANYONE that can feed a family of 4 for 22$.   Cant be done.    Of COURSE if they give you 22 dollars for a week and they lower the prices on “healthy stuff”  you get the “bad” food with more calories….so your family of four can freaking LIVE.  

Personally, I am all for taxing soda and “junk”  food….i don’t think junk food is healthy…tax away, especially if it lowers the price of stuff like grapes.   and bananas.  BUT HEALTHY FOOD  HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OBESITY.   Besides, I just dont like badly done studies.



4 Responses to “Fat Tax study gone wrong”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Definitely not the most rigorous study. But, from the original paper, “Prior to each task, the participant was given a study income of $22.50 per family member to purchase the foods.” Still pretty tight in my opinion, but probably doable. Journalists should really read the studies they write about though…

    • Lori Says:

      I don’t know. I have a family of three, and $67.50 would not be enough to feed us everything we needed for an entire week, unless I radically changed what we eat. I make a lot of food from scratch and we don’t eat much meat, and we still tend to come in around $85-100/week for food, even when I do all of the grocery shopping at Aldi.

      I can say that, if I only had $67.50 to feed my family for the week, I would NOT be loading up on produce. At that point, you’d have to start thinking about how you are going to get sufficient calories into your family, and fruits and veggies wouldn’t be the way to do it.

  2. wriggles Says:

    Personally, I am all for taxing soda and “junk” food….i don’t think junk food is healthy…tax away,

    I’m neither for taxing or calling perfectly edible food junk. There is food that is highly processed and doesn’t taste good has a funny texture, usually that of mush.

    That however that doesn’t mean that it will kill you. Thing is who’s to decide? There are very few foods that have a higher fat content than pate de fois gras, that’s a delicacy though. They can tax that.

  3. jamirgrs Says:

    I agree that the study was absurd! You can barely feed a family of four for one meal on $22! I’m on the fence about the fat tax. It would be easier to know where to stand if they knew how to implement the tax. Are they going to tax foods high in fat? Is this total amount of fat or just for saturated fats? Are thy going to tax sugar? All sugars or just processed? What about artificial sugars? Same question with salt. Or do they really go for the kicker and tax overweight and/or obese individuals? There are just too many questions for me just to say go ahead and tax unhealthy foods. Honestly, I don’t think a tax will help in the long run anyway. Just try to keep a PMS driven woman from getting a chocolate fix. People are going to eat what they want regardless of the price. If the food industry made healthier foods more affordable, I believe most people would make healthier decisions.

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