profile image

Patrick Luciani

Patrick Luciani is currently Senior Resident at Massey College and co-director
of Salon Speakers Series ( and the Munk Debates
( He has written three books on public policy including
XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame, (with Neil Seeman), University of Toronto
Press, 2011.
Why Higher Taxes on Sugary Foods Don't MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Why Higher Taxes on Sugary Foods Don't Work

I would agree with the Heart and Stroke Foundation's recommendations if higher taxes actually worked. The problem is they don't. As with most advocates of higher taxes on so-called junk foods, they always look to tobacco as an example. But tobacco is a single product with no alternatives; taxing beverages is an entirely different matter.
09/26/2014 05:39 EDT
Tax Junk Science, Not Junk

Tax Junk Science, Not Junk Food

The media has jumped on a paper that has supposedly found a link between taxing "junk food" and a reduction in obesity. News flash: this is old news. We know that simplistic top-down approaches such as taxation or public announcements telling us to exercise and eat our vegetables don't work.
05/17/2012 03:07 EDT
DONNER PRIZE FINALIST: Obesity and the Limits of

DONNER PRIZE FINALIST: Obesity and the Limits of Shame

Can the flattening rate of growth in childhood obesity be credited to public health campaigns -- such as anti-junk food posters in urban high school hallways; recent bans on soda pop machines in some schools; and mandated 20-minute physical exercise regimens in inner-city schools? They may have some impact among some kids, but not much, by all accounts.
04/22/2012 11:59 EDT
The Fatwa Against Fat

The Fatwa Against Fat People

It's no surprise that most people are of the opinion that the obese should pay for their sins through higher insurance premiums or higher taxes for the food they eat. Only problem is the obese more than pay for their sins by dying earlier than most of us and thereby collecting less in government pensions and retirement income.
03/23/2012 07:20 EDT
Were Italian Cruisers Killed by AP

Were Italian Cruisers Killed by Nepotism?

I'll wager the captain of the sunken Italian cruise ship, Francesco Schettino, rose quickly through the ranks not because he was a fine captain, but was privileged with family connections in the naval business. When looking for work, family connections and status in Italy are more important than competence.
02/03/2012 01:11 EST