Many diet related diseases whose incidence would be

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many diet-related diseases whose incidence would be reduced by a tax on poor quality food. Our study also examined the impact of a dietary fat tax across income groups. We assumed that savings on health care expenditures and government revenue associated with the tax would be used to finance government services that benefit all Canadians more-or-less equally. Under that scenario, we found that high income households benefit most from the tax on fat but that all households – with the exception of the poorest two percent – are net beneficiaries. The net loss to the very poorest households is a serious concern and measures would need to be taken to mitigate that effect. However, such measures could be financed easily out of the tax revenue raised. Overall, the results from our study provide strong support for a tax on poor quality foods. There are of course some administrative costs associated with the implementation of such a tax but the benefits of the tax will almost surely outweigh those costs by many orders of magnitude. On balance, the province is moving in the right direction in contemplating a tax on junk food. Peter W. Kennedy is an Associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Victoria. The fat-tax study can be accessed at
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