Fast Food & Happiness

Big-government nanny-staters have been arguing for some time for a “fat tax”, often with the accompanying cries of “think of the children!”

Researchers at National Taiwan University and the University of Arkansas investigated the data found in the National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan.

The results, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, demonstrate that “children who ate fast food and drank soft drinks were more likely to be overweight, but they were also less likely to be unhappy. “

It would seem a tax on fast food is yet another tax on happiness.

10 thoughts on “Fast Food & Happiness

  1. The study also suggested that “Children from lower income households were more likely to have unhealthy dietary habits and be overweight or obese”

    By that measure you could also draw the conclusion that “Children from lower income households are happier”.

    In reality however the study falls short in that it looked at a transitory life period – childhood, where happiness/unhappiness with self-image is variable than at later times, particularly during adolesence. It would be interesting for the researchers to interview the same children at ages 14, 17 and 21.

    In any case I think you misrespresent the research by arriving at a conclusion that a ‘tax on fast food is a tax on happiness’. A tax on fast food is a tax on fast food. In fact we already have one – the GST. Preparing your own food avoids GST – buying fast food attracts GST. The government would do better to remind people of the cost savings of NOT buying fast food than to implement another tax.

    In any case if we have to rely on fast food to make our children happy then we are doing something badly wrong.

  2. Considering it’s a survey and not a controlled trial, the results are probably meaningless.
    This is the kind of crap masquerading as “science” these days. There’s no way of determining causes and effects here.

    Also how did the study distinguish between pleasure and actual happiness?
    A long term junkie is experiencing pleasure if you ask him at the right time of day, but would you say he was happy?

  3. How exactly do you measure Happiness anyway? I dont think even the King of Bhutan has worked that one out yet.

    Not a good libertarian argument this one – stick to the line that it is up to parents, not the government to control their kids nutrition, which might occasionally include McDonalds as a reward/treat.

  4. Yeah, I have to admit, happiness studies are a bit of a nonsense… they’re usually used by lefties to claim that people are less happy now than when they were peasants.

  5. Wow, this was a true quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I keep putting it off and never appear to induce one thing done

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