California Thinking about a Soda Tax Again
|January 27, 2012||Posted by Alex under Lifestyle|
It’s been on and off the table more times than I can recall, but it looks like it might actually be getting some serious consideration this time time.
That’s right, the “Soda Tax”, a proposition that would charge a penny per ounce of sugary beverage, is set to make some headways down South.
The purpose of such a tax would be to first collect money which could be used for funding of medical research into diabetes and heart disease. Secondly, to slightly discourage the consumption and purchase of these products that lead to these medical conditions.
According to some figures, a Soda Tax in the states could easily bring in $13 billion each year, which would substantially benefit these research programs. As well, they estimate it could help cut down on approximately $17 billion in medical costs.
In the states alone, Americans drink approximately 13.8 billion gallons (so close to 40 billion litres) of soda, sports drinks like gatorade and other high calorie sugary drinks each year. That’s over 100 litres of soda each year per person. In Canada, the figures are proportionately similar.
If you look at it medically, that’s an extra 70, 000 calories that a person consumes each year without gaining any sort of nutritional benefit from it.
If this plan works, it could mean that it could help prevent 3% of new diabetes cases each year, as well as saving as many as 26, 000 from premature death due to over consumption of sodas that lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Where should we stand on issues like this? In one way it’s taxing people and trying to force them to make better eating choices, but at the same time it’s also going to lead to fewer medical problems and fewer deaths related to these problems. Is taxing junk food something we should do, or should we let people decide their own courses?