As of 2014, a fat tax is a proposed tax on unhealthy foods to discourage consumers from buying them. This tax, also known as the Twinkie tax, was largely developed by Kelly Brownell, a psychology professor at Yale University, who discussed the idea in the New York Times in 1994.
Dr. Brownell initially proposed a 7 to 10 percent added tax on fattening foods, with the generated revenue used to subsidize healthier, more expensive food items. The idea of the fat tax was to decrease obesity rates and encourage food manufacturers to pay closer attention to nutritional content. Obesity plays a role in numerous health problems, including cancer, diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure.