Thesis Statement : I strongly agree that the government should add taxes to unhealthy foods to improve people’s health because it will discourage people from consuming unhealthy foods, generate revenue for public health initiatives, and ultimately lead to a reduction in healthcare costs.

I. Introduction

  • Briefly discuss the issue of unhealthy diets and their impact on public health
  • State your thesis statement

II. First supporting point: Taxes discourage people from consuming unhealthy foods

  • Discuss how taxes increase the price of unhealthy foods, making them less attractive to consumers
  • Provide an example of a successful implementation of a tax on unhealthy foods (e.g. Mexico’s soda tax)

III. Second supporting point: Tax revenue can be used for public health initiatives

  • Explain how revenue from these taxes can be allocated to support public health programs (e.g. nutrition classes, gym memberships)
  • Discuss the potential benefits of such initiatives in improving public health

IV. Third supporting point: Reducing healthcare costs

  • Discuss the link between unhealthy diets and chronic health conditions (e.g. obesity, diabetes)
  • Examine the potential savings in healthcare costs as a result of improved public health

V. Counterargument: Potential negative impact on low-income households

  • Acknowledge the potential regressive nature of the tax and its impact on low-income households
  • Suggest alternative policies that can mitigate these effects (e.g. subsidies for healthy food)

VI. Conclusion

  • Summarize main points and reiterate thesis statement
  • Emphasize the importance of addressing the issue of unhealthy diets and supporting public health initiatives.


Model Essay

It is a well-established fact that unhealthy diets can have a disastrous impact on public health, with the potential to cause a range of chronic and life-threatening health conditions, from obesity to diabetes. While there are a multitude of factors that can contribute to unhealthy diets, from a lack of education surrounding nutrition to an over-reliance on processed foods, one potential solution is the addition of taxes on unhealthy foods. In this essay, I will examine the reasons why I strongly agree that the government should add taxes to unhealthy foods to improve people’s health.

First and foremost, taxes can deter people from consuming unhealthy foods. By increasing the price of unhealthy foods, individuals are less likely to purchase them, and the tax revenue can be allocated towards healthy alternatives. For instance, Mexico’s soda tax is widely considered to be successful in reducing soda consumption. Since the tax was introduced in 2014, soda purchases have decreased by 12%, and water consumption has increased by 4%. Taxes can persuade people to make healthier food choices and, in turn, reduce the consumption of unhealthy foods.

Secondly, taxes on unhealthy foods generate revenue which can be used to fund public health initiatives. This revenue can be used to support a range of measures, from providing nutrition classes and gym memberships to developing education campaigns aimed at breaking unhealthy eating habits. These initiatives are crucial in improving public health, as they make healthy choices more accessible and help shift cultural norms. The revenue from taxing unhealthy foods can be put towards these initiatives, aiding their development and taking some pressure off the government’s budget.

Lastly, reduced consumption of unhealthy foods due to a tax could ultimately lead to a decrease in healthcare costs. Chronic illnesses linked to unhealthy eating habits, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are costly to treat. Therefore, implementing a tax on unhealthy foods could act as a preventative measure by reducing the prevalence of these illnesses. The economic burden of healthcare associated with chronic conditions could be reduced in the long term, leading to a more cost-effective healthcare system.

While it is worth noting that a tax on unhealthy foods may disproportionately affect low-income households, this can be mitigated with alternative measures such as subsidies for healthy foods. It is vital that policies that consider the economic struggles of different groups are implemented to avoid worsening inequality.

In conclusion, the addition of taxes on unhealthy foods can improve public health by deterring unhealthy choices, providing revenue for public health initiatives, and reducing healthcare costs. It is a policy that should be considered by governments who want to encourage healthier lifestyle choices and alleviate the pressure placed on healthcare systems by dietary-related chronic conditions.