"A lot of local food is more fatty and unhealthy. I don't think the tax is a bad thing but it has to be comprehensive and acceptable to all the stakeholders," says Mr. Alexander.
"Otherwise it is discriminatory. Just because you serve pizza and burger doesn't mean other people are serving healthy food", says Annie Joseph, a self-professed fast food enthusiast.
Nearly 34 percent of Americans are obese,according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The growing obesity rate has led to high cholesterol, and an increase in chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer. The goal of the tax is to curb sales of unhealthy food and decrease over consumption, which may help to prevent disease. The study also called for subsidizing the cost of healthy foods and vegetables to make them more affordable to greater numbers of people. A research on fast foods suggest that tax of at least 20 percent placed on sugar-sweetened drinks could drop obesity rates by 3.5 percent and prevent2,700 heart-related deaths each year in the USA alone.
"Taxation may shift food choices away from those foods, but it provides no guarantee that the consumer will not simply shift to other unhealthy options and or continue to consume unhealthy quantities of all foods while also getting inadequate physical activity,"said Binks.
Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine agreed that food is not the only culprit for obesity. Instead, the focus should lie on restoring physical activity programs and offering incentives and tax breaks for those who implement healthy behaviors – what he called, "actions that reward good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior."To solve the obesity crisis, people don't need more legislation, they need more motivation," he said.
About 47 percent of UAE people are designated as overweight, mainly because of sedentary life style and due to the consumption of easily available junk foods. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention is now tackling obesity in children as many grow into adults with diabetes, an offshoot of being unhealthy and overweight.
Now the world is increasingly becoming concerned over the obesity of population, more countries are likely to adopting more ways to discourage eating greasy foods, much of its burnt falling on fried chickens, hamburger and pizza. It is also obvious by now that sugar is the mother of many diseases, generally diabetes and obesity which are blood brothers. The day may not be too far when hamburger stands will be forced to fold their business and people will be shy to visit fast food point for the same reason they do not want to smoke in public places. Governments of all the developed and developing countries should take necessary measures to control people from eating unhealthy junk foods and thus remove the curse of obesity.