Tax it, the government does not care what you drink. Maybe if we taxed the 1 percent, took corporate money out of politics, and brought jobs back to the USA we would not need to look at more taxes on the middle class. You do not have to drink soda.
09/18/2012 - 3:26pm
wow really. why is this even an issue? the government is already in the citizens business way too much now. By allowing another tax the government wants our money, they have already proven that they can't handle a budget. So hey why don't we find something to tax. the government can't handle the money they have. OH But let any one of the citizens not pay their bill on time and we get socked with a late fee and other crap. No more money.
09/17/2012 - 1:50am
Government should encourage programs, education that teaches us how to be more proactive about our own health i.e., such as the fitness programs of 60s and 70s. It needs to begin at home and definitely with school children such as the Michelle Obama program with school lunches. What about nutrition classes taught very early in elementary school that teach kids to read labels, what things such as sodium, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and calories, to look for. This discipline dovetails with others such as physical education, mathematics, science, English, etc. Neither or intellect or or physiology stand alone. By the way, when I went to elementary school in Illinois, physical education was an annually required class every year grades 1 through 12! Be innovative - Florida schools included golf, tennis and archery along with the typical baseball, basketball and gymnastics. Children who feel better health-wise and appearance-wise will carry that into all areas of their lives including home. Many disciplines have been lost from our schools and homes. We need to restore it in interesting, riveting ways. Our children are bright, capable and care about themselves unless we teach them not to. We do not need MORE government regulation, just oversight and encouragement, and funding in appropriate areas.
Cathy in MN
09/14/2012 - 9:12am
I do not think the Government should because I feel it is my business what my family drinks or eats.
09/13/2012 - 4:44pm
I agree that soda and sugary drinks are horrible for you and are contributing to the obesity problem. While I personally don't mind it since I don't have a desire for them, I know very well that the food most available and accessible to low income and mid income populations is unhealthy, soda being one of them. However, even though a tax might deter some people, if you want to create wide change, two things are necessary:
1. Instead of punishing undesirable behavior, reward good behavior. Make it rewarding for people to eat and live healthy by making good food and exercise more affordable and accessible. A salad should not be more expensive than a quarter pounder.
2. Hold all of these companies accountable for poisoning us and our future generations! Why not tax the hell out of them for loading food with sugar, salt, preservatives, GMOs and various chemicals?! If they're products are expensive because of the government imposed tax, people won't be able to buy it.
09/13/2012 - 3:35pm
I'm a little torn here... It's true that the inexpensive nature of soft drinks like soda increases consumption among impoverished demographics (people who are already at higher risk of obesity-related disease and malnutrition.)
Obesity affects everyone... obesity-related disease is the number one killer of americans and is costing all of us in health care expenses. I think we need to find a way to make it so the cheapest snacks aren't the most unhealthy. I would probably be buying cheap, tasty, convenient foods like coke and twinkies too if I didn't have the education or income to allow me otherwise.
The reason sugar is being targeted is because sugar-sweetened beverages are so very common still and they provide excessive numbers of calories without providing ANY nutrients or feelings of satiety. They are literally the single most empty calories you can find. The only reason I'm torn about the idea of taxing these items is because of how poorly it's working for the government to subsidize things like corn and soy (making it more expensive for farmers to grow other fruits/veggie crops.)
I really hope I can soon say otherwise, but I don't trust the government right now to know how to properly feed america.
09/12/2012 - 9:36am
No more taxes! People need to be personally responsible for what they eat. Why are they blaming soft drinks when they should look at the time spent sitting in front of the TV, the computer, or on a cell phone?
09/11/2012 - 2:53pm
The key point that many are making is that we are responsible for our own lives, whether we chose to eat healthy or not. For a lower income family, it can be more expensive, but not if we make the choice to not buy and eat certain products in the first place. It is YOUR money that is being spent. Please study how much of your weekly budget is going for those snacks/chips/sodas/dips/salsas, whether it is planned in advance or a last-minute-pick-up at the quick mart or for a Sunday football game.
I chose to not bring any snacks/chips/sodas into my home and I won't serve them. If I want a snack, I'm adult enough to grab an apple or other fruits, which are always in the house or slice up some carrot and celery and dip into some plain yogurt. A fast late night snack is to slice up an apple, remove the core (freeze it to be given to the birds this winter), add cinnamon, wrap in foil, place in the oven for 10 minutes @ 375 F, or until you can smell the cinnamon, which will attract all those who said they weren't hungry. Remove and serve.
Any tax on the manufacturer will definitely be passed along to the consumer, that is the way consumerism and capitalism work. If the government is so interested in sugar, have them work with the manufacturers to not put so much (or any) into their products. Much of the time, the sugar added to a product is not needed, ie., tomato sauces. A cutback of 10% of the added sugars will save a manufacturer money, which at some point might even be reflected in the price.
The consumer is also in a position of writing to the manufacturer (they all have websites and e-mail) and letting them know what will be purchased and what will not and to make suggestions for cutting back on the sugars, flavorings, colorings, in their products. If you don't like the sugars in everything, don't buy them, it is your money after all.
Another means is (as is done in parts of Europe) to not allow direct to consumer/children advertising of candy/cereals/snacks during prime child-programming times (Saturday mornings especially) - but it is so much easier to not allow the TV to be used w/out a parent in the room and get rid of the TV in the kid's room. Get the kids outside and go play/ride/swim/hike, etc., with them. Your body's demand for fast sugar (snacks/sodas) will drop as you wean yourself and your family away from them.
We as consumers control what we buy. I make a point of not buying products advertised on certain websites. I chose to not have a TV. I make food decisions that are as smart as I can make them. I'm not perfect, but I am in control. Stop whining and take back your life.
09/11/2012 - 11:20am
The products are already taxed...as separate ingredients, and as a whole item. How about encouraging personal responsibility instead?
09/11/2012 - 7:26am
All of you saying it isn't the government's place are probably the same people who applaud cigarette taxes.