“Fair taxation for a cellulite nation—that’s what this is about.”
— Irwin Leba


The Institute for a Healthy America (IHA) is an independent, non-profit education, research, and advocacy organization with offices in Virginia and Texas. Our mission is to move America towards a healthier, fitter future. We believe that the best way to encourage weight loss is through government-sponsored economic incentives. To that end, we support initiatives to revise the federal tax code to ensure that overweight Americans are paying their fair share for the burden they impose on our nation’s healthcare infrastructure.

The IHA is a non-partisan proponent of the position that a new tax, calculated in proportion to Body Mass Index (BMI) and scaled to income, must be an essential part of a new federal "war on obesity." We believe such a "fat tax" could generate $150 billion in increased revenue for the federal government and could cut obesity in half by 2013 while saving 250,000 lives.

To achieve its mission, the IHA:

  • Educates the public about the benefits of a "fat tax" and the ways in which fair and effective BMI-taxation serves the greater public interest

  • Generates and facilitates research on the use of economic incentives to combat the obesity epidemic

  • Advocates BMI-taxation in Congress, in the Administration, in the states, and internationally, as an essential element of civil society.

The IHA was founded in 2004 as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation by Irwin Leba, a Texas businessman and public interest advocate, our contributors include foundations, associations, and private individuals.

Contact the IHA for more information.


Under the IHA's plan, Americans of all shapes and sizes—yes, including you—will be required to present themselves every year (sometime between January 1 and April 15) at an official government weigh station. This weigh-in will establish your body-mass index (BMI). If that number is 25.5 or higher—officially overweight—you will have to pay a federal "fat tax" on top of you normal income tax. The exact amount would depend on how overweight you are and how much you earn. See the table below.

$100,000 or less
$100,001 to 500,000 $1,000
$500,001 to 1,000,000 $5,000
$1,000,001 and above $10,000

*Decimal points within your BMI would be rounded up: 25.5 to 26; 26.1 to 27; 27.7 to 28; etc.

To calculate what your own fat tax would be, first get your BMI, then use our handy online Fat Tax Calculator.

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©2006 Institute For A Healthy America