Food Politics: Should Meat be Taxed like Sugar?


by Dr Michelle de la Vega, PhD — Get free science updates here.

You’ve probably seen the news that researchers from the University of Oxford are proposing a tax on red and processed meat.

But this isn’t the first time that a tax on food items has been proposed. In April 2018, a sugar tax was introduced in the UK, on drinks containing more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Many countries also tax alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

The connection between all these consumables? They are all said to have negative effects on our health, increasing the healthcare cost burden. 

What Are the Health Risks of Meat Consumption?

In 2015, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen (meaning it can cause cancer in humans) and red meat as a Group 2A carcinogen (which means it probably causes cancer in humans).

But just because something is labelled as a carcinogen, that doesn’t mean it will definitely cause cancer. The amount consumed, how often it is eaten, and individual genetics all play important roles. You can learn more about the link between red meat and cancer in this Red Meat and Cancer Risk course.

It’s also not just cancer risk we need to think about. High red and processed meat consumption may also increase risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

How Much Would the Proposed Tax Be?

Since processed and red meat consumption varies globally, the tax would depend on the country and their healthcare cost burden from red and processed meat. For example, in high-income countries (like the US), the researchers predict that a 111.17% price change for processed meat would be necessary to offset the healthcare costs, whilst in upper-middle income countries (like the UK) a 46.85% price increase would be necessary.

For red meat, the price change would be smaller: 21.36% for high-income countries and 6.51% for upper-middle income countries.

The proposed tax varies from 0.2% to 185% for processed meat depending on the region (Springmann et al., 2018).

What Do YOU Think?

There is evidence to suggest that taxing processed and red meat could change behaviour, lower consumption, and reduce cancer risk. But we don’t actually know if it will work in practice.

Plus, should the government be the one to decide which foods we should eat – or should it be an individual’s decision?

Should processed and red meat be taxed?

Take our poll below and let us know what you think!

Loading…


Did you enjoy this? Sign up to receive our FREE email updates!

See Also

Continuing Education Bundle

Free Academic Tour

Exclusive Webinar

[CPD Certified Webinar] Child and Family Nutrition Strategies for Your Practice

“How do I know if my child is getting all the right nutrients for proper growth?”

 “Should I worry about feeding my kids the wrong foods for learning and mood control?”

“Our family dinner is a tantrum-loaded warzone… is picky eating solvable at all?”

Speech challenges, learning delays, stunted growth, irrational tantrums, short-fused aggression, hyperactivity, a lack of attention… they can all have a dietary element underneath.

What a little boy or little girl eats can deeply affect their mood, memory, and brain development – with long-lasting consequences carried into adulthood.

So how does diet shape a growing child? And in what ways may you help parents, caretakers, and teachers with the nutrition of little ones?

Completing this CPD-certified training will equip you with vital knowledge underpinning how food can impact your client’s child neurologically, emotionally, and intellectually – alongside insights about adequately running child nutrition programs to best support little boys and girls with their developmental needs.

Here’s what you will discover in this CPD Certified Webinar:

  • Why nutrition and health practitioners should gain a deep insight into child nutrition science when working with parents, caretakers, and teachers
  • Importance of custom-building child nutrition plans considering gender, age, height, weight, and other calculations
  • How adding child nutrition programs to your practice can help clients with the developmental needs of their little ones
  • Advantages of becoming an Advanced Child and Brain Development Nutritional Advisor™ and integrating child nutrition into your work with our Level 5 Certification
  • Personalisation methods and planning tools to use when running your own child nutrition programs to support parents, caretakers, sports clubs, and schools

Remember you have the option of claiming your smart CPD certificate when you complete this webinar!

Register Now

© Copyright

Everything on this site is original content, created and owned by or through The Health Sciences Academy ® or licensed accordingly.
© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.
The Health Sciences Academy is the world’s largest, 100% science-based, online educational institution.
✔ helping health professionals build their expertise in specialised areas
✔ raising industry standards througah personalised nutrition and practical science.
© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.

Discover

Free Courses

Resources

Connect

About Us

© 2022 The Health Sciences Academy ® All Rights Reserved.

Send this to a friend