Fat in Philadelphia

Our city has the highest obesity rate of the nation’s 10 largest cities

Our city has the highest obesity rate of the nation’s 10 largest cities, according to Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity and Health Commissioner for Philadelphia. And that statistic is just one of many arguments for Mayor Nutter’s “soda tax,” according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

This statistic also raises the question: “Why is Philly so fat?”

According to research, poverty and a lack of access to healthy food is to blame.

"The economic drivers are that it's cheaper to eat a high-quantity, high-fat, good-tasting food that's convenient," Gary Foster, director of Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education, told the paper. "In addition, you don't have access to a wide variety of foods."

Put simply, a lack of money prevents residents from purchasing food for a healthy diet resulting in a third of the city’s adult population to be overweight and 57-percent of Philly’s kids, reports the Daily News.

And the higher the obesity rate, the more serious the health problems, the higher the health-care costs.

Nutter’s proposed 2-cent per ounce “soda tax” would not only help combat Philly’s fat, a percentage of the money would be used for a city-wide health campaign, says the paper.

Many argue that the tax on sugary beverages will take jobs away from many who work in the business and that Philadelphians should be able to make their own decisions on what they should and shouldn’t drink without being taxed.

"I think there's a lot of different things we can do to promote health initiatives," Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez told the Daily News. "It shouldn't be tied to budgetary issues."

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