Health Care Reform, Germany's Way: Fat Tax and Expulsion for Chubby Kids

aging v medical inflation medicare.png


In an effort to raise money for its health care funds, Germany is considering a wide range of anti-obesity proposals from instituting a "fat tax" on the obese, to putting warning labels on candy, to weighing children at the beginning of school and removing the fattest kids to clinics!

Overkill much? Raising the social and financial cost of being fat sounds like a clever idea to rein in your health care costs, but you're not solving the more fundamental problems: (1) medical technology is getting better and (2) people are living longer.

Turning back to US policy, I'm all for discussing public knowledge campaigns, such as mandating calorie information at chain restaurants, and swapping agricultural subsidies for fresh food subsidy experiments in low-income areas. But Germany's war on fat sounds like another case of unwarranted austerity we shouldn't try to import.
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In