What do you think about a tax on sugary drinks?

picture of Sugary Drink Tax

What do you think about a tax on sugary drinks?

If you or your kids are avid soda drinkers, you might want to pay attention to the recent health movement aimed at taxing sodas and other sugary beverages. State legislatures around the country are considering the subject which is proving to be quite a divisive among its proponents and detractors. The federal government has also expressed a stance for levying a tax on sodas and other drinks with high sugar content. It’s a movement that’s gaining momentum, and it doesn’t look like it will go away anytime soon given the continually dismal numbers regarding the American obesity epidemic.

So let’s consider the issue. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that many Americans support the idea of taxing sodas and sugary products, so we know it’s a topic that’s on the minds of many public health officials, politicians, and (most importantly) parents. Any subject of taxation is a sensitive one with most people, but I think the issue deserves special attention because it involves an item that is so common in our diets.

What would a soda tax entail?

Most cities and states who want to pass legislation taxing sugary sodas want to do so at a reasonable rate. The general consensus is that sodas with a high concentration of sugar (think most name brand, non-diet sodas) would be taxed at a rate of around one cent per ounce, which would amount to a little less than $1.50 extra for each twelve pack purchased. Despite what soda companies might say, the tax is not solely designed to deter people from buying more soda, though that may very well happen if the tax law is passed. Rather, the revenue generated from this soda tax would go towards state and local health programs designed to address major dietary and health issues like heart health, obesity, cancer, and so on.

The government would essentially tax drinks that are scientifically proven to be bad for your health in high doses, and use that money to formulate campaigns aimed at reducing the national consumption of such products. The idea is nothing new, and it’s already gained significant support in states like New York, California, and Illinois. But there’s still much work to be done.

Too much government interference?

The state, local, and federal governments have an uphill battle to fight with the soda tax. Even though the data is on their side, and even though everyone knows that you shouldn’t drink too much soda if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the detractors of this movement have a persuasive argument. They argue that taxing sodas will only make the beverage more expensive for demographics who will buy it either way. They argue that the government is overreaching in its attempt at health advocacy by telling people what they should and shouldn’t consume through taxation. Many view this entire initiative as an affront to the soda industry.

But proponents of the movement say that the soda tax isn’t as much an attack on businesses as it is an attack on the unhealthy product they produce. Just think about the sheer amount of sugar in every single can of soda (non-diet of course) and consider whether or not you would want to let your children drink one or two every day. There’s no doubt that the drinks are unhealthy, but does the government need to levy a tax on it in order to reverse the trend of obesity and ill health in this country?

What do you think about a tax on sugary drinks?

What do you think about the soda tax? Do you agree that taxing sodas would be a good move for the government to make, or do you think they’re overstepping their boundaries? How often do you and those in your family drink soda? Let me know with your comments!

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

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Akron Ohio Moms will occasionally publish content from exciting partners. Only 100% original content is considered. We limit the number of guest posts to ten percent or less of our overall publishing goals. Articles must be relevant to our audience.
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