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War on obesity

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Our legislators are back in session, and you’ll love this.

Fully aware the citizenry can’t take care of themselves, state Rep. Robyn Gabel and state Sen. Mattie Hunter have introduced a bill in Springfield aimed at curbing obesity in the state.

Their proposal: an excise tax on soft drinks, which would generate $600 million to be used for health care and fighting obesity.

If this is not just another revenue stream for the state and Gabel and Hunter are serious about fighting obesity, let’s cut to the chase.

Forget taxing soft drinks. Let’s tax people by the pound. There’s already a vehicle in place, namely weigh stations, throughout the state. Set up bariatric centers at all existing weigh stations. Mandate a weigh-in for every man, woman and child every two years.

Requiring weigh-ins every two years may seem a daunting task, but by using electric prodders and, in extreme cases, gaffing hooks, it could be done. Taxes would be based on medically recognized weight charts.

A “fat tax” of a penny-a-pound over the accepted standard would then be levied regardless of race, gender or water retention. That’s how you wage the war on obesity and most likely solve the pension shortfall at the same time.

Steve Moore


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