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Unhealthy Eating Has A Negative Effect on Both Individuals And The Society - Task 2 Band 9 Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Unhealthy eating has a negative effect on both individuals and the society in which they live. Some people think that the government should tax unhealthy foods while others believe that a flat tax is unfair and unnecessary.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay (Unhealthy eating has a negative effect on both individuals and the society.)

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Model Essay 1

The impact of unhealthy eating transcends individual health, affecting societal well-being, thus sparking a debate on government intervention through taxation. While some advocate for imposing taxes on unhealthy foods to promote public health, others deem such a tax as inequitable and unnecessary. This essay will explore both viewpoints and argue in favor of a nuanced approach that includes taxation with supportive educational measures.


Proponents of taxing unhealthy foods argue that such a policy could act as a deterrent against the consumption of foods high in sugar, fat, and salt, akin to the effect seen with tobacco taxes which have significantly lowered smoking rates. They contend that the revenue generated from these taxes could be reinvested into public health initiatives, such as subsidizing fruits and vegetables, thus making healthier food options more accessible and affordable. For example, the introduction of a sugar tax in the UK has not only decreased the consumption of sugary drinks but also encouraged manufacturers to reduce sugar content in their products.


On the other side of the debate, opponents argue that a tax on unhealthy foods would disproportionately affect low-income populations, who often have limited access to healthy food options. This, they argue, would exacerbate social inequalities without addressing the root causes of unhealthy eating habits. Moreover, they believe that education and voluntary changes in behavior are more effective and less intrusive ways of encouraging healthier eating habits. They advocate for public health campaigns and education programs to raise awareness about the benefits of healthy eating, rather than punitive taxation.


In conclusion, while taxing unhealthy foods may offer a straightforward solution to combating poor dietary habits, it is not without its drawbacks. A more effective approach would be to combine such taxes with comprehensive educational programs. This dual strategy respects individual choice while actively supporting healthier lifestyle changes, ultimately contributing to the well-being of society as a whole.

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Model Essay 2

The debate surrounding the impact of unhealthy eating habits extends beyond individual health to encompass societal welfare, prompting a division in opinion over the role of government intervention through taxation. On one hand, proponents argue for imposing taxes on unhealthy foods as a deterrent, whereas opponents view such a measure as unjust and unnecessary. This essay will explore both perspectives, ultimately advocating for targeted taxation complemented by educational initiatives as the most effective strategy.


Advocates for taxing unhealthy foods posit that financial disincentives, through higher prices, can significantly curtail the consumption of detrimental products. Drawing parallels to the success of tobacco taxation, which has demonstrably reduced smoking rates globally, this approach is seen as a proactive, preventive measure to combat obesity, diabetes, and related health issues. Moreover, the revenue generated from such taxes could be strategically reinvested into public health campaigns and infrastructural improvements, thereby amplifying the positive impact on community health. For instance, a compelling study in Mexico revealed a marked decrease in sugary drink purchases, by more than 10%, following the introduction of a soda tax, underscoring the potential efficacy and direct benefits of such policies in reducing sugar consumption.


Conversely, critics of a flat tax on unhealthy foods argue that it is inherently unfair, disproportionately affecting lower-income families who often rely on cheaper, processed foods due to economic constraints and lack of access to healthier options. This demographic would bear the brunt of the tax, exacerbating existing societal inequalities and creating a financial burden on those least able to afford it. Additionally, there is a strong contention that the government should not dictate personal dietary choices through punitive measures, advocating instead for increased public education on healthy eating and the benefits of a balanced diet. Critics suggest that empowering individuals with knowledge and access to healthier foods can achieve better health outcomes than punitive taxation, thus promoting personal freedom and responsibility in dietary choices.


In conclusion, taxing unhealthy foods, when balanced with educational initiatives, offers a practical solution for improving public health while respecting personal freedom. This approach effectively addresses both health concerns and fairness, promoting informed choices and a healthier society without impinging on individual autonomy.


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Sample Essay 3

Argument goes that there are bad implications on individuals and society because of eating unhealthy food. While some people recommend for raising tax for this item, others are against this proposal. Though the tax imposition raises price level that demotivates people from buying specific food items, poor people might be the worst victim of it as they will lose affordability. I am going to elucidate this idea in detail with appropriate logic and examples.


Imposing tax on unhealthy food items will increase the general price level of this category, and we know that price is the driving factor behind people’s purchasing behaviour. That means, when the consumers notice that a specific food item is costlier, they will switch to the best alternative in terms of expense, this is called elasticity. In fact, governments can apply this taxation measure to shift people’s eating habit from unhealthy diet to healthy ones. For example, if a particular popular junk food price rises to double than that of before, people might cut its consumption half, and compensate this gap by purchasing the alternative product. This is how the taxation is an incredibly efficient approach to alter people’s unhealthy food choice.


However, this government-imposed price burden might come at the cost of freedom of market and general people’s affordability. There are many junk foods which are ubiquitous in the market and cheap enough to be afforded by all. In other words, most of the healthy foods are costlier, which is beyond the reach of poor section of a society. That means, taxation on unhealthy food is incurring a massive cost on a large community. Moreover, if the government regulates food prices, it might distort markets’ normal behaviour; producers, sellers and buyers all will lose their freedom of choice, which cannot be fair by any means. Thus, the fat tax is not a viable solution.


In conclusion, weighing in both sides, though a proper taxation of food items can impact on people’s eating habit, it cannot be a sustainable solution because it comes at the cost of free market economy and mass people’s purchasing capacity.


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