In some countries an increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of eating too much fast food. It is therefore necessary for governments to impose a higher tax on this kind of food. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
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Band 9 essay sample
Health problems caused by the excessive consumption of fast foods have assumed epidemic proportions all over the world. According to some people, it is important to impose a high tax on junk food to discourage people from eating such foods. In my opinion, this will deter only the middle and lower income groups.
To begin with, imposing a higher tax will make fast foods unaffordable to poor people. This will force them to cook proper meals at home. While this might cause them some inconvenience, it is actually good for their health. However, the taxes will not discourage affluent consumers from buying fast food. They will continue to consume it. That means increasing the tax on fast food will have only a marginal effect on its consumption.
Creating awareness about the ill-effects of fast foods is also unlikely to be of much help. Most people who consume fast foods are actually aware of its health consequences. For instance, a survey conducted in Singapore, one of the developed countries in the world, revealed that people are compelled to buy fast foods because of their busy schedule even though they are aware of the health problems.
Perhaps a better solution is to make healthy food more affordable and accessible. One of the main reasons that increase the consumption of fast foods is that they can be cooked in a matter of minutes. Ready-to-eat foods are also available in supermarkets. Many people are consuming fast foods because healthier alternatives are not conveniently available.
To conclude, increasing the tax on fast foods will only deter the low income groups from buying them. If the governments really want to reduce the consumption of fast foods, making healthier alternatives more affordable and accessible is the best solution.
Band 9 sample 2
Incidences of obesity have risen over the years. It is believed to be a consequence of over consumption of fast food and hence some people argue that the government should increase the tax on such foods. In my opinion, this approach is unlikely to yield the desired result.
In the first place, increasing tax on fast food is unlikely to reduce its consumption. Actually, most people who consume it are already well aware of the health consequences of its consumption; however, their busy schedules do not permit them to cook proper meals at home. Hence, they opt for readymade meals. They will buy packaged food even if the price is high because they cannot or do not want to cook healthy food at home. Hence, a higher tax will have little impact on fast food consumption especially among middle and higher income groups. At the same time, it will put a burden on the lower strata of the society. Many of these people subsist on fast food because they cannot afford healthy food. By increasing the tax on fast food, the government will only add to their woes.
A better solution is to make healthy food more affordable and available to all sections of the society. The government can open eateries all over the country where it can sell healthy meals at affordable prices. It should also enact laws that make it mandatory for fast food companies to ensure the quality of their foods.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to combat obesity, and a higher tax on fast food is not the one we need. What the government should do is to make healthy meals more and more affordable.