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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


The growing problem of obesity in the U.S. has prompted calls for government action, including the imposition of a "fat tax." The author uses microeconomic theory and a cost-benefit framework to explore the pros and cons of a fat tax. She applies theories of rational and irrational consumer decision-making to obesity-related consumption decisions and presents a simple supply and demand model to suggest the likely consequences of a fat tax. The author concludes that, before implementing a fat tax, additional research is needed to determine if a fat tax is merely the latest fad or a significant policy initiative that will make real contributions to correcting a major health problem in the United States.

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