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U.S. Department of Agriculture
Navajo Nation sees tax on junk food as way to combat health problems
Navajo Nation sees tax on junk food as way to combat health problems

On a weekday shopping trip to the only real grocery store for 30 miles, Ann Neagle paused before a bag of Red Delicious apples, $7 for a dozen, plus a new discount — the Navajo Nation lifted the 5% sales tax on fresh fruits and vegetables. That's the carrot in the tribe's attempt to curb rampant obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Next comes the stick: A 2% tax on junk food. That tax, the first of its kind nationwide, will hit one of the most economically depressed areas in the country, where more than 40% of people are unemployed. Neagle is worried. "Less money for fruits is nice, but it doesn't even out," she said. "For people on a fixed income,...

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