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Junk Food Tax Still Has a Chance on Navajo Nation

March 28
00:08 2014

Tribal lawmaker Jonathan Hale has sponsored legislation to override Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly’s veto of the “Junk Food Tax,” giving the tax another chance. Hale is also behind legislation to override Shelly’s veto of the bill that eliminates sales tax on healthier foods. When the Tribal Council meets in regular session next month, they can override the vetoes with a two-thirds vote of its members.

Healthy Dine ActThe Healthy Diné Nation Act, or Junk Food Tax bill, proposed raising the sales tax on snacks high in fat, sugar and salt from 5 percent to 7 percent. Shelly claims he vetoed the bill because it didn’t elaborate on how the tax increase would be implemented and enforced.

Taxing junk food while eliminating tax on healthy food was part of a two-year initiative by the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance, a group of health advocates from across the Navajo Nation.

According to the Navajo Area e, obesity rates range from 23% to 60% for all age groups on the Navajo Nation. There are 25,000 Navajos with diabetes and 75,000 are pre-diabetic.

Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project

Navajo Nation Special Diabetes ProjectThe Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project provides diabetes prevention education, identifies individuals with pre-diabetes and provides diabetes management to reduce complications and disabilities. They sponsor health fairs, nutrition demonstrations, and wellness activities at chapter houses, schools, community centers, community events, and home visits.

The Tube City Chapter serves communities in the Page Lake Powell area, including:
Coalmine Mesa
Tuba City

The Tuba City Regional Medical Center estimates that 41% of the population is diabetic or pre-diabetic.

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