Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Should We Tax Soda?

My health news posts are generally reserved for The Fitness Nerd but this one's too important not to use all viral means possible as it's the tip of what promises to be a high fructose corn syrup filled iceberg:

Food Companies Fight Soda Tax Proposal Despite Staggering Obesity Epidemic

On the heels of the Nerd's last post, where Denis stated "someone needs to seriously smack-down the American junk food industry", the smack-down has been proposed if form of a tax on soda.

To me is makes perfect sense. We tax alcohol. We tax cigarettes. Soda does more damage and costs society more than both of those things combined, so why not?

"Americans Against Food Taxes" present of few reasons in the above ad. It should be noted that these particular Americans work in the soda, sugar, and genetically modified food industries. Personally, I think we should de-classify soda and other junk foods as food. Beer has more food value than soda.

Here's my take on the subject in more depth:

The World's Worst Food

What we have brewing is a 50's era tobacco-esque showdown between Big Junk Food and the American public. Almost makes me want to sit in a board room clogged with smoke and contemplate the solution over cocktails... almost.


screwdestiny said...

Fantastic! ...If it goes through. Stuff I want to happen never seems to actually happen. Or maybe I'm just cynical. Whatever, I really hope this goes through. Alcohol could easily be considered a "simple pleasure," why aren't they complaining about that? Why aren't they bringing up the fact that because you drink soda, it's costing you a hell of a lot more money than a little tax will? Bastards.

Rae said...

Hmmm, the libertarian in me is hoping for a different way to do this. Do you have the right to drink enough soda to get you a straight ticket to Diabetesville? Actually, yes, you do. Do you have the right to make me pay for that in terms of increased cost of health care, etc? No, you do not.

That said, I'd love to see soda machines pulled from schools, as we at least pretend to attempt to believe that we feed schoolkids healthy meals. I'd love to see the advertisements for sodas pulled altogether, period.

A tax on soda, honestly, is going to create a dependency on whatever the tax is funding in order to keep selling soda. Selling soda at that point will be a revenue source for both private industry *and* the government, so believe me, there will be very strong incentive to keep it around.

I think taxing this will create more problems than it solves. Just my .02 FWIW. I agree soda is dangerous, but not convinced taxing it is going to be helpful in reducing the demand.

Steve Edwards said...

There's a pretty good discussion on this over at the Fitness Nerd.

Steve Edwards said...

Melanie said...

I am 100% in agreement. i hadn't seen the ad of the "camping" Americans supporting soda. I laughed out loud. I have already written to my congressman to support soda tax. That group is so bogus.