Will Fat Taxes Kill You?

That's the tongue-in-cheek title of my article in  Here are a couple excerpts:

 It is more than a little disconcerting, then, to learn that the mounting number of federal, state, and local policies aimed at slimming our waists may be misguided. The results from a careful literature review recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people who are overweight and even a bit obese actually live longer than normal weight folk.


The pathologizing of extreme body types by public health professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and the federal government, for example by referring to obesity as an “epidemic”, has added insult to injury. And, it has licensed the actions of those who want to use the power of the government to restrict what we eat. Yet, if being overweight increases your lifespan, is it possible that government mandated fat taxes and soda bans may prematurely kill us?


But, if the overweight are living longer than the normal weight, where is the justification for public intervention to control our weight? Indeed, a study published last year in the Journal of Health Economics showed that health care expenditures are lower among overweight as compared to normal-weight men.

I go on to talk about the fallacy of using Medicare and Medicaid expenditures as justification for public intervention.