The Chocolate Tax: Yes or No?

13 March 2009

Scoffing chocolate in front of the telly at night is largely responsible for the UK's expanding waistline, according to Dr David Walker, GP, who proposed for a CHOCOLATE TAX at a UK medical conference.

Dr. Walker cites chocolate as an unhealthy food that contributes to diabetes, high blood pressure, and back pain, and he feels that it is to blame for the UK's rising obesity levels:

"Taxing chocolate would not solve the obesity crisis but it might slow the rate of increase of the obesity graph. It would be a brave government to do it, but I think it would show a signal of intent that they really are serious about tackling obesity and foods that are potentially damaging to health."

But this isn't the first time a tax like this was proposed.

The British Medical Association debated a similar motion back in 2003. The motion was voted against, as members felt that it increasing price would have no effect on obesity, and would hit lower income groups the hardest.

Cadbury was disappointed by Dr. Walker's comments, because according to them, chocolate is already paying for the price with 'VAT'. Julian Hunt, Director of Communications at the federation, explains:

“Regressive taxes on the foods that consumers love would result only in lighter wallets, not smaller waists. While good for grabbing headlines, there is no evidence to suggest that such ‘fat taxes’ would actually work in reality.

I personally don't know anyone who blames chocolate for their obesity levels, so to me, it sounds like another scapegoat instead of dealing with the real issues behind obesity.

If they are going to tax chocolate because of obesity, should we be taxing game consoles (except the wii fit, obviously)? What about beer, ice cream, and chips?

And why not just make healthy food options cheaper, instead of unhealthy options more expensive? Wouldn't that motivate people more?

Now where's my Toblerone.



  • andy y.
    So much for my Belgian choc running scam.I'll stick to smuggling crack
  • Robertvan1
    Eating a creme egg, nom nom. This tax will never happen, and if it does Im leaving the country!
  • Jondogg
    Although it seems a bit crazy, if they taxed chocolate I'd just eat less of it nobody needs chocolate. I'd much rather they did this than raise taxes on petrol which many people aren't able to avoid.
  • Nick
    Where does it all stop if they did motion this through? Heck there is worse things than chocolate, Kebab meat, Crisps, Pork Pies, Sausage rolls, cakes etc etc etc. Great, lets turn Britain into a fascist society Dr. Walker, what a total cretin.
  • Mark M.
    What won't they tax! Putting tax on chocolate, yeah that'll work! It's just penalising the people that enjoy the odd bit of choclate every now and then who eat it as a healthy balanced diet, they should be concentrated on the the junk food and ready meals that has a huge amount of fat content. That's the real cause, too many people aren't cooking and/or eating "real" food, food that is healthy. So, what are they going to do, tax all chocolate products, or just selectively, etc you're typical Cadburys or Galaxy bar? The real probably behind obesity is peoples eating habits, lifestyle and that soo many people today don't know how to cook the basic of foods. The government needs to bring back proper healthy schoool dinners nationwide, bring back cooking lessons in school, and bring back the Ministry of Food, particularly the short cooking tips on TV. I'm 29 and am able to cook with fresh ingredients and I'd be interested to watch a short film about cooking, whether if people are interested or not, if it were to be part of the commercials just like many products advertised people find theses wanting or buying whatever is being advertised and I can't see a food lesson being much different. Let's tackle the root of the problem instead of trying to put tax on silly things.
  • phil m.
  • Dick F.
    Why take tax from people who respect chocolate?, instead have a monthly weigh in and if your too chubby then you have to do community service.
  • Specialist
    Steady folks if they carry on the way they are then next we will be taxed on the air we breath. As poisonous as we have made it. God help if you live in the country and possibly have cleaner air. haha
  • Fred C.
    Surely the need is to tax things to pay for government provided services for the people. The "thing" could be anything that people are willing to accept. One of the ways to make the "thing" more taxible in the public eye is to demonise it. Of course the "thing" has to be easy to collect tax from. UK is a low tax country in North West Europe, just look at the VAT in Europe and UK has the lowest VAT rate .. with such low taxes no wonder people are pilling the extra money into houses and leveraged the house prices sky high thus bringing the crash bigger.
  • J
    Tax on chocolate = redundancies from chocolate factories, why bother? I can see an argument about taxing food thats bad for you (fast food, chocolate, high in salt etc etc) but to single out chocolate seems a bit odd. If you take the average obese person, you usually struggle to pin it all on chocolate, usually they're obese becuase thier diet is all shite and they do no exercise, not becuase they eat a kg of chocolate a day.
  • bidrick
    YES, let's have extra tax on chocolate then there will be even more unemployment here and less income for the third world countries that rely on the income from cocoa beans, then we can send them even more overseas aid and generate benefits for the extra unemployed here. How can we afford these payments?Ummm, how about a tax on chocolate?
  • Bobster
    Won't affect shoplifters
  • Loujacksam
    What next .... how about taxing sex then there will less babies, so the nhs could save there. God when is this country going to stop being the laughing stock of the world....
  • Mark
    Grrrr....this makes me so angry, another example of skirting around the real issue. Let's ruin the enjoyment of chocolate for everyone, because it's easier than tackling the root cause of people's ignorant and lazy attitudes. For heaven sake, does no one take personal responsibility for their own well being anymore? How can these "experts" be so stupid? Tax chocolate and the same people will just move to something else.
  • Bobster
    This has nothing to do with chocolate. Pick a subject people are aware of, use it to tax people by telling them its for their own good. Its easier for them than saying 'hey we're gonna take more cash of you, and if you say anything we'll sort you out with our Nazi scum police' Wise up people' do you really think those subhumans in power give a crap if your son is obese, or if the NHS spends more on treating overweight people? The NHS is an organisation on its own, it will continue to feast on large volumes of resources, providing little benefit to society. Look at it like this: Different people/politicians saying they need to tax because of reason A. They change, so therefore Different A.Hole, same SH** The SH** is tax or extortion and remains constant, the variable is the A.Hole spouting the lies and deceit.
  • jaysexy212005
    Haha, it's never going to happen. It will not make a difference either to obesity levels with other fat foods still around like pork and ham.
  • ladylovesit
    Rightly so t is our birthright to eat chocolate.
  • KP
    "Why take tax from people who respect chocolate?, instead have a monthly weigh in and if your too chubby then you have to do community service." @Dick Fitzwell - I like the idea in principle, but don't think it's got enough impact. How about combining the results of a BMI and Body Fat %, 3 strikes of being too high and your sent to finland with no passport. (apologies for any fins here, but its a good enough distance for them to loose weight if they manage to break back into the UK.
  • Mike L.
    Put parent and child car parking spaces at the other end of the carpark. Make the little basts walk. Speaking of walking, who the hell came up with "Heelies"? For parents who think teachnig their kids to walk takes too much effort.
  • Noob
    Game console don't make people fat! Wii Fit or not. Consoles have been around since the 70's. It wasn't a problem then. Video games are certainly less sedentary than reading, watching tv or doing homework. You object to the Governments policies, and then spout their propagander back at us. Makes no sense. No to Chocolate Tax, no to Alcohol tax, no to Gordon Brown.

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