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January 2, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(1):39. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490460043009

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A Swedish municipality, it is said, has established a tax on its overweight citizens; all above normal weight must pay a graded tax according to their avoirdupois. Great weight will be a luxury in that community. It is said that the scheme is not for revenue, as might be supposed, but in the interest of good health and good morals and dietary reform. The reformers think that their people eat too much, and that both economy and health will be favored by the tax. Inasmuch as some poor people gain in weight not by drinking beer or by taking too much carbohydrates or otherwise, but suffer from an unfortunate peculiarity of metabolism, this tax seems a little unfair. Nevertheless, if those who suffer from adiposis dolorosa and similar diseases could be exempt from the tax, it might be a good thing. A little more exercise and work would not only

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