Utilizing tax as a financial instrument to combat obesity is an accepted idea internationally, though it is the subject of profound debate among proponents and opponents. This idea has been implemented in comparative tax legislation. However, upon reviewing the works of jurists and specialists in economics and public policy in the Arab world, one concludes that that idea has not been considered thoroughly. This article, therefore, seeks to present the idea of diet tax to researchers in the Arab world so that it may be studied from all its legal, economic, and political aspects. The topical question raised in this article is whether a law should be passed in UAE and Jordan to impose a special tax on the consumption of food products and beverages that cause obesity as a possible approach to combat the obesity epidemic. This is not suggesting that taxation in itself will avert obesity; rather, other means and instruments must go hand-in-hand with taxation, such as promoting physical exercises and banning obesity-related food and drinks at schools and universities.
This article concludes that justifications exist to for introducing taxes as (obesity tax) in both Jordan and UAE while, at the same time, initiating a wide awareness campaign explaining the tax and its justifications and the dangers of obesity for public health. However, taxable products in UAE should include sugary drinks, sweets, and fast food, while in Jordan taxable products may be confined to sugary drinks which are not life essentials, taking into account the financial problems facing Jordan’s economy and the already heavy tax burden on Jordanian citizens.
Key words: Obesity tax; Taxation policy; Taxation on food products; Jordanian law; UAE law.
"Is A Taxation Law Required to Combat Obesity in UAE and Jordan?,"
Journal Sharia and Law: Vol. 2019:
78, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2019/iss78/8