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Eating Ourselves To Death: The Fat Tax

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FLORIDA - BACKGROUND: Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI. A person is considered overweight if his or her BMI is between 25 and 29.9; a person is considered obese if his or her BMI is over 30. (SOURCE: http://www.webmd.com)

RISKS OF OBESITY: People who are obese are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:

  • Metabolic syndrome — a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high cholesterol
  • Cancer, including cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum and prostate
  • Sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
  • Gynecologic problems, such as infertility and irregular periods
  • Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues, due to deposits of fat blocking or narrowing the arteries to the genitals
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver and can cause inflammation or scarring
  • Skin problems, such as poor wound healing

(SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity)

DENMARK'S FAT TAX: In 2011, the Danish government implemented a fat tax; taxing all foods high in saturated fats. The government was hoping to reduce its citizens' consumption of unhealthy foods.  After one year, the Danish tax ministry abolished the tax. Danes were hopping across the international borders, just to buy butter.

TREATMENT: An active lifestyle and plenty of exercise, along with healthy eating, is the safest way to lose weight. Even modest weight loss can improve your health. Extreme diets (fewer than 1,100 calories per day) are not thought to be safe or to work very well. These types of diets often do not contain enough vitamins and minerals. Most people who lose weight this way return to overeating and become obese again. When dieting, the main goal should be to learn new, healthy ways of eating and make them a part of a daily routine. (SOURCE: http://www.webmd.com)