For years, doctors, scientists and public officials have been coming up with a number of ideas to combat the nation's growing obesity epidemic. Nothing seems to be working and fully two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese.
Now, a new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests imposing a fat tax. In other words, hit people where it hurts most - not their stomachs, but their wallets.
The study says that a tax of at least 20 percent on sugary drinks could lower obesity rates by 3.5 percent and prevent 2,700 heart disease-related deaths annually. The study also urged subsidies for healthier foods like vegetables.
A number of European countries have imposed a fat tax and earlier studies have indicated that the dramatic increase in cigarette taxes has prompted many people in this country to quit smoking.
But obesity is far more complicated that smoking. To quit smoking, you just have to stop one behavior - buying cigarettes. To lose a substantial amount of weight and keep it off, you have to change pretty much everything you do and ignore much of the world around you, where you are constantly tempted by unhealthy food choices.
Can a fat tax fix all that?