Thursday, January 1, 2009

Obesity Tax

We all know that obesity is a big problem in our country that is growing with each passing year. According to Science Daily, by the year 2030 86% of Americans will be overweight. Sick!! Well Governor Paterson of NY has a good idea to help with this problem and to help with the budget deficit. He is going to propose an 18% tax on sugary drinks like soda and sweetened juice. Milk, some juice, diet soda, and bottled water would be exempt from the tax. Astonishingly, 60% of New Yorkers said they would oppose the new tax. (Isn't that about the percentage of people that are obese?)

One of the greatest benefits of this tax would be children drinking less soda, which would mean a decrease in childhood obesity. Today, about 1/3 of kids are overweight, and research shows that the ONLY high-risk dietary practice that is linked to children being overweight is the consumption of sugary drinks (American Dietetic Association). I mean let's be honest, if a kid is given the choice between milk or soda, most kids will choose soda. So if that choice isn't there because it's too expensive, then great!

Opponents of the tax say the last thing the governor should be doing is putting a heavy tax on the people. Well this tax isn't a tax you have to pay like property tax or income tax, so this argument is ridiculous! If a family is going through tough economic times, they shouldn't be spending their money on things they don't need - like soda. The Health Commissioner of NY put a video on YouTube, supporting the new tax. It's amazing what those few extra calories every day or week will add on. The link is below. It's a little dry, but very informative.