Thanksgiving. It’s a time to celebrate the day our ancestors made peace with the American Indians. So how do we celebrate it? Like we celebrate any other national holiday — with a huge meal.
Beyond our nation’s borders, we are known as a country of fatties. When I was studying abroad in Argentina last fall, my host family thought they knew the answer to why so many Americans are fat — they eat too much peanut butter.
My host family may have been on the right track, since processed foods and beverages high in fat, like peanut butter, are so much cheaper than fresh produce. Eating or drinking large quantities of processed foods and beverages is one of the major causes of our nation’s obesity epidemic.
To find out about solutions to the obesity epidemic, I interviewed UNC distinguished professor Barry Popkin, who published a book in 2009 about obesity entitled “The World is Fat”.
In his book, Popkin makes a case for a “fat tax,” which would tax foods and beverages with high fat contents, discouraging consumers from purchasing them. He argues that taxing cigarettes and alcohol has lowered their consumption rates, and this strategy could work just as well to lower the consumption of fatty foods and beverages.