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Chocolate should be tax deductible

September 3, 2011

Since obesity and its medical consequences have become such an expensive problem in the United States, I think we should be able to deduct the price of some foods. Don’t you agree? 
Groceries have become so expensive you can barely afford to eat anything but macaroni and cheese. My favorite supper is the hugely healthy avocado served with balsamic vinegar poured in the hole. But it costs more than a Big Mac and a side of fries when you factor in the gasoline you burn while waiting in the mile-long line of cars at the drive-through.
So, I’m saving my avocado receipts and instructing my CPA to deduct every single one come tax time next year. I figure I spend around $600 a year on these delectable little fruits for which I’ve paid as much as $3 a piece. 
Hey, wait, now that I think about it, chocolate should be included in the tax deductible list since nutritionists are now touting it as a cancer and heart attack preventative.
Whoopee, bring it on. It’s almost my public duty to eat more chocolate, avocados and pricey fish such as salmon which I haven’t been able to afford since 2005.   
The government offers tax incentives to entice people to lose weight and isn’t food the main culprit? The initiation fee at my health club is deductible, and when I get to the size I need bariatric surgery I can take it off my taxes.
Wouldn’t it be better in the long run to let us deduct our fruits and vegetables? Write your Congressman today. 
Of course, Congress is all aquiver trying to pass a stupid law prohibiting bear wrestling. I hear they’re also considering a measure  making it unlawful to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church – important stuff like that.
They could give us this little tax break and change our lives forever. It could be a business expense since you can’t do much business when you’re malnourished from living off potato chips and peppermints.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity-related medical costs could be as high as $147 million annually. The CDC also reports that “The proportion of all annual medical costs due to obesity increased from 6.5 percent in 1998 to 9.1 percent in 2006.”
Judging from my dress size, that sounds about right.
Since 2002, the government has been offering tax incentives to help combat these rising expenses, and I think its high time to add healthy foods to the mix. If I can deduct the cost of rotor-rooting the toilet at my rental unit, why not my weekly avocado fix?

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers reaching retirement.  She welcomes comments at http://www.deludeddiva.com.

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