Time to Hoard the Ho Hos: America’s First Junk Food Tax is Coming

Photo by: Cory Doctorow

 
Attention all junk food connoisseurs of the world: you better start hoarding your Cheetos and M&Ms now.

A new act that will soon go into effect in the Navajo Nation, one of America’s largest reservations, aims to lower obesity rates by raising taxes on junk foods—those with “minimal-to-no-nutritional value.” Think soda, chips, candy, fried foods… pretty much anything you’d eat at a middle school sleepover.

The Healthy Diné Act of 2014, signed by Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, is the first of its kind in the United States and is estimated to raise an extra $1 million in tax revenue. That extra money will go towards building wellness centers and fitness facilities, and conducting other health-promoting activities.

The law, which was signed in response to the Navajo Nation’s significant health problems, comes as a follow up to Berkley, California’s sugary beverage tax last year, the first of its kind.

However, there’s no need to start stocking up on bags of potato chips just yet, as the law is only valid in the Navajo Nation. However, if the act is successful in improving general health in the Navajo Nation, it’s possible an American junk food tax could be on the horizon.

Meanwhile, improve your health the old-fashioned way with some of these healthy tips.
 

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