Taxing Soda to Fight Obesity

From the Sacramento Bee:

ATLANTA — In a bid to ramp up the public health battle against obesity, a group of nutrition and economics experts are pushing for a tax of 1 cent on every of ounce of sodas and other sweetened beverages.

Proposals for a hefty soda tax though have repeatedly fallen flat. The idea was even floated as a way to help pay for health care reform, but government officials on Wednesday said that’s not likely to happen.


54 Responses to “Taxing Soda to Fight Obesity”

  1. 1 Matthew Abang September 17, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    Combating obesity is a good thing to try to accomplish. It should, however, be up to the individual to take care of his or her own health. The government should not be telling us what to eat and what to not eat. Also, taxing sodas will mean that supermarkets will sell less soda and the grocery industry will be hurt. Families buy a lot of soda to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. They shouldn’t be forced to pay more for something that they enjoy. Besides, those of us that love soda will not be stopped from buying it with this tax. The main point is to drink in moderation.

  2. 2 Amanda Herrera September 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    I think it is safe to say that we are all aware of the increase of obesity, specifically for the United States, over the years. After reading this article it made me wonder if the governments reasoning for taxing soda was really to try to reduce obesity. Could it possible be that their hidden reasoning for doing so is to get more money through taxes? Furthermore, I agree with Matthew’s comment about how if people are taking measures to become healthier, soda would be one of the first things they would try to stay away from. Ultimately it should be up to the individual to decide what foods or drinks to stay away from rather than everyones health becoming part of the governments control.

  3. 3 yvonne September 17, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    Americans are not new to taxes being raised for products that are harmful to their consumption. For example, we have been battling the tobacco industry for many years about the damages cigarette smoking has done to the health of both smokers and nonsmokers. The most that has been done, is the price of cigarettes raised to $4-$5 a pack and a surgeon general warning on the side of each pack. Don’t get me wrong, it has probably helped decrease cigarette smoking but I beleive educating the smokers on the damage it brought to their health played a bigger part in it.
    Raising taxes for sodas is not the answer, educating the public about obesity is. People who really want the product will pay what ever the price is if they really want it.

  4. 4 Samantha Vavricka September 18, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    I disagree with taxing soda in the fight for preventing obesity. Soda is not the only problem when it comes to obesity, advertisement on children channels for sugary foods, packaging of foods and so on help too. I think individuals need to take responsibility when it comes to their own health, not the government. I agree with Amanda is this just a cover to get more money through taxes.

  5. 5 Deb Snyder September 19, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    I am a Mean Mommy. I don’t buy sodas nor do we buy sugary cereals. One of our sons is overweight and could be considered obese, our other children are skinny. People look at him and think that he probably eats too much junk food or drinks too many sodas, or some other reason. It’s actually a health reason for his weight.

    So how would taxing this product make a difference in his life? It wouldn’t. And the marginal amount of tax (what, maybe a penny or two) per bottle of pop would not make a difference in whether or not people buy the stuff.

  6. 6 Margaret Garbo September 20, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Obesity is definitely an issue in the US but adding a penny or two of tax per can isn’t going to solve anything. Soda is definitely a variable in the increase of weight but I agree with Yvonne with educating the public instead. Creating awareness in society regarding problems such as obesity is the better way in my opinion. Everyone’s practically on the internet and ads are easily circulated in the community so consumers are able to see the effects clearly like with a hard hitting picture and not just in their pockets. This probably could be a ploy of the government to try to get more money from the people. If they really wanted to help with obesity, they should just use their money by promoting healthier lifestyles and presenting more possible solutions which would be more efficient than telling the people what they can or cannot eat.

  7. 7 David Perez September 20, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    Even though I am a firm believer in the individual making decisions, I think that this tax on soda is ok. I look at it in the perspective of a minor “sin tax”, like they put on alcohol and tobacco products (even though soda isn’t nearly as bad). If one really is outraged about 1 cent on every of ounce of soda and other sweetened beverages, then don’t drink those products anymore (if it gets passed that is). Fact of the matter is we have a huge obesity problem in the United States and education alone won’t help much.

    In high school, I took my health education class and learned alot, yet I still see alot of my peers chugging those Cokes down. So how much education is it really going to take to instill values that keep people away from sugary drinks? Again, and as Yyvone above stated, “People who really want the product will pay what ever the price is if they really want it.” Maybe it is time for the government to intervene to some extent if we want to curb the obesity problem.

  8. 8 Robert Rey, Econ 100 September 21, 2009 at 11:09 PM

    I think the idea to add a tax on soda for health concerns may conflict with other laws in place concerning drinks. For example, in California there is already an additional tax on it, the container deposit. Every soda, milk, water, and other specifically defined container in the state has a small additional fee placed on its final price when bought. This was set up to improve various environmental and health concerns, but one of the biggest reasons for it was to encourage recycling. Someone participating through recycling would eventually recover the additional money they would have to pay for stuff like soda because of the container deposit. The rest of the funds not recovered by the public would be used for other environmental programs.

    Adding this soda tax for obesity would put add additional fees on drink that could eventually burden consumers and drink makers. Compared to this, the container deposit program was not designed to stop people from buying soda, only to encourage people to think about what to do with the trash after. It could endanger the entire program if it really did stop people from buying them as much.

  9. 9 Alexandria Horton September 22, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    I think it is a great idea to tax anything that people must have. Religious soda drinkers are indeed addicted to the sugar and caffiene and therefore will continue to pay for them even if there is a 1% tax raise. That would help us get out of this defecit. I don’t understand why Americans feel as though they should be greedy with their money and not help out the country they live in, that allows them to be free and make money in the first place. Unfortunately, it is not our fault Bush spent so much money on the war or that our governor Shwartzenneger spent California’s money on stupid things, but without our help to put the economy back into the green we the people will suffer the most. They are taxing cigarettes higher now which is a great idea because people will pay for them and if they don’t want to, they will save their health by quiting. I also agree on the idea that pot should be legalized in California and taxed, California would get out of debt, make a whole lot of money, make 65% more room in jails and prisons, cut down crime, and save people from being so ill. Prescription medications, in return would lose money which God forbid that happens, even though it is usually what makes sick people sicker. There are so many things we could tax and should, it is what is needed, and everyone should stop complaining about prices going up because with that will come more jobs and more stability in our country!

  10. 10 Gina September 22, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    Althoug lowering the obesity rate is a good idea, I don’t think that taxing soda is going to do so. Like the article said, we should take comprehensive approaches to lowering the obesity rate instead. If people are really interested in loosing weight they will make the concious decisions themselves to stop drinking soda. Our money should be put towards programs that promote healthy lifestyles instead of more taxes.

  11. 11 Ruby S September 22, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    The tax on soda, if it really does get passed, will not stop people from buying something they have created a habit out of enjoying like previous comments have stated. No matter how bad it is for them, they have become accustomed to drinking this sugery can of chemicals.

    Even though obesity is an epidemic that is continuing to spiral out of control, I feel that this tax, whether passed or not, is a making a great statement to our society. It seems that no matter what ice cream place you walk by or the plus plus-sizes in stores you see, society is almost making it seem ok to be obese and eat all of the crap that you can find on any corner.

    I agree with some of the comments before mine that bring up the point of taxing things like alcohol or tabacco products; education is the key to showing people how to be healthy and be able to live a life without pain and heart disease. So many people think that what they are doing is right, when in reality they just need to be educated.

  12. 12 Larry Oppenheimer September 23, 2009 at 12:54 AM

    Hmm. It seems like we are all agreed that education is a good tactic for fighting obesity. So where will the money for this education come from? Part of the settlement the Federal government made with tobacco companies goes to anti-smoking education. This tax *could* be used the same way. In the real world of politics, that won’t happen unless it is legislated to be so, but that is one justification for such a tax.

    Another is this: several people are making the argument that the government should not be telling people what they can and cannot eat or drink. I would agree with this, except that treating the health problems caused by obesity is very expensive, enough to represent a serious impact on the economy, such as pushing up health insurance premiums. People’s freedom to choose to care for themselves poorly takes away many choices for the rest of us when it sucks away that money. Education, infrastructure like roads, alternative energy research, and lots of other worthwhile things go starving so someone can have their daily Big Mac.

    Governments and communities are dying on the vine fiscally right now, and money has to come from somewhere, so why not tax an unnecessary, unhealthy luxury?

  13. 13 Deb Snyder September 23, 2009 at 6:47 AM

    Point taken that it takes dollars to pay for any sort of education efforts.

    Having said that (playing devils advocate), why would we stop at taxing sodas?

    What about fast food items? If sodas are causing obesity in children, then what are they eating along with those sodas? Can we assume fast food? A quick search on the internet shows that a sack of White Castle Onion Rings has a whopping 30 grams of fat. Burger King Hash Browns (which I love and only allow myself about once a year) have 13 grams of fat, but gosh-o-golly, those are tasty.

    My point is – if we are going to tax a product and use the funds to educate the public, shouldn’t be be more inclusive about what we tax? Are we missing opportunities by isolating soda pop?

  14. 14 Amanda Chow September 24, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Obesity is major problem in the United States, but taxing soda is not going to solve the problem. It is a personal taste and choice of an individual. It would not be fair to the people who are not obese to have to pay the tax on soda because if we go so far to tax on fountain drinks then who is say that we shouldn’t push more taxes on fast food chains or candy bars. If we want to take care of obesity we should take care of it as a whole and not try to target a small factor/variable of it.

  15. 15 Kaitlin E September 24, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    The problem of obesity in America is a major one, but definitely not one that is going to be fixed, or even significantly altered by a 1 cent tax on every ounce of sugary soda. If a person were to drink so much soda, for that to be the main reason for their weight problem, then they are not likely to stop their intake of soda because of a 1 cent increase. This tax seems absurd as a way to fight obesity.

  16. 16 Tiffany Molinar September 26, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    I think that this is a good idea. Yeah, it seems pretty unrealistic, but I think it would definitely help. I cut back on drinking soda a while ago because I know that there is absolutely no nutritional value in it. And I think that if they were to tax it I would probably stop drinking it altogether, as I think many people would. Yes, it shouldn’t be up to someone else to try to make us have healthier eating habits, but I think some people need extra help to get them to quit some of their nasty habits. I don’t think, however that taxing soda is going to fix our problems with obesity, but I do believe that it’s a step in the right direction.

  17. 17 Kaleen Scott September 26, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    Do you really think it will prevent people from buying? America is one of the most obese countries in the world due to fast food and junk food like sodas. It’s something we’re accustom to by growing up on it and I’m not sure that raising the taxes on it will necessarily stop us from purchasing it.

  18. 18 Maria Rogan September 28, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    Obesity is definitely a problem in America. But, there are other things besides soda that is causing obesity to grow. Yes, soda is one of the reasons, but taxing it probably won’t make it any better. And because there are other things like fast food for example making many people obese, does that meant the government will put a tax on that too? It seems to me that the government is trying to hard and I agree with Amanda when she said that the government might be taxing soda just to get more money. I do drink soda and just because the government puts a tax on it, does not mean that I will stop consuming it. I probably won’t purchase as much soda, but I won’t stop altogether.

  19. 19 D. Colin Sorenson September 29, 2009 at 7:26 AM

    I think that this is a great idea, but I think they should tax every 2 oz.

    For people whose arguments are “It won’t prevent people from buying soda,” I argue that their intentions are not to stop people from buying soda but to limit the amount of soda that people buy. Therefore decreasing the intake of the sugar and caffeine that many sodas have to offer. Just like with many habits today, the best route to quit usually isn’t going cold turkey, as there are some pretty nasty side effects for the more serious habit/addiction. Deminishing your intake of soda can be down gradually and that would help obesity no doubt.

    Also from a Economics stand point. This tax will hurt Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Off-Brand Soda products. They will see a drop in consumer demand due to the taxes. We’ll just see the government make more money while Corporations/Businesses dwindle.

  20. 20 Ben Petersen September 29, 2009 at 7:42 AM

    I don’t think that this one cent per ounce increase in tax will have much effect at all. People will continue to consume what they need to satisfy themselves, and if there is this small of an increase in price, I don’t believe the desired outcome of less sugar intake will happen. The only thing that will occur is the government will make a bit more money, and the corporations that produce the soda will begin to see a decrease in overall revenue.

  21. 21 Christopher Morris September 29, 2009 at 7:44 AM

    Sounds like a great idea. I know some schools are taking the soda machines out of the school completely, why not leave them and put a little tax on them to help pay for the school? The economy isn’t at its hottest point right now, not many people will be willing to spend more on things they buy, so it’s a win win. If they do this, they help stop obesity and they get a little funding for the schools.

  22. 22 dlilpanama September 29, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    wow whats next? theres so many peolpe that drink up soda its not funny but if they put this tax on it that might change. i think its good that the government wants to help people and prevent them from obesity but i think it should be that one persons them taxing soda its kind of punishing the pepole that dont have that obesity problem. people love soad and they shouldnt have to pay more for it because the government want to help some people when them some people can help them self.

  23. 23 Alanna Heaney September 29, 2009 at 8:22 PM

    i think that an individual person should take on the responsibility of what he/she should be eating and drinking but taxing sodas isnt the best way to change someones life style. taxing sodas will bring a downfall of the soda industry and with all grocery and corner stores. people buy sodas everyday and taxing them every penny an ounce is stupid to me. people who drink soda alot so calm down on it but taxing it isnt going to stop them from buying it. you just have to drink it in moderation.

  24. 24 Cole Norton September 30, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    This tax on soda to cope with the obesity problem is a good start, yet for some people, soda can be an inelastic product that they need. It can be compared to cigarettes in that people who consume them will pay nearly anything to have them, so I say the tax on soda could even be increased a little more to encourage people to make healthier choices no matter what. Clearly, soda is not the only problem when dealing with obesity, so with soda, the government should start taxing all other food and beverages with high sugar and fat levels.

  25. 25 Alex Stauffer October 1, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    We read this article in class and we made a very good conclusion I feel. When someone tells you you can’t have something, that just makes you want it more. The fact that they are trying to tell people not to drink soda and the bad things it can do to you, make people more prone to drink it. Taxes on soda I feel might heighten the amount of soda that is consumed by the united states. Everyone should be able to do what they please and not feel guilty for it. It is the united states of America!

  26. 26 courtney brewer October 4, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    It would be completely unfair if everyone had to get taxed extra because of other peoples obesity issues. It’s not just soda that makes people fat. There’s an endless list of processed junk food that greatly contributes to obesity. And it’s not even like soda or anything else is the direct reason for it. Soda and fattening foods are intended to be consumed in moderation, a word unfamiliar to fat people. Many people enjoy soda without gaining a million pounds. Like some of you said, it’s great for barbeques and parties. Besides, if people simply exercised more and cared about their appearance and health, they could drink soda everyday without becoming overweight, as long as they maintained a balanced diet. It should be up to the individual to take care of himself/herself.

  27. 27 Nick Pasquale October 4, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    Taxing soda to fight Obesity is a good idea. Charging 1 cent per oz might get too expensive for some people to purchase soada, so as a result of that they will have to purchase another beverage besides soda. If the tax is charged people who buy soda a lot with see the high increase in price they now have to pay and the government hopes that will result in drinking of healthier beverages. If the tax is approved i think it will do very little to help obesity, as their are still a lot of unhealthy fast food restaurants.

  28. 28 JoAnn Reynolds October 5, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    I disagree on the tax as a deterrent for those not to over do it. This also seems that it would in no way help the medical expenses. It is my opinion that it up to media, health awareness campaigns as well as outreach. If the added tax could be earmarked for this purpose only then prevention could be possible.

  29. 29 Mike Beretta October 6, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    I agree that obesity is a major problem, but do they really think raising the taxes will combat this issue? Didn’t they raise the price and taxes on cigarettes? I don’t see anyone stopping smoking, in fact it seems like more and more people smoke than ever. They should think of other ways to put our taxes to better use. This also puts a strain on those soda companies. They would have to raise prices if people quit drinking because of the tax, not that I seriously think that people would stop. You might as well raise taxes on everything that people consume. Something is going to make a difference in someone’s life at some point, whether it be sugar, soda, cigarettes, alcohol, or food in general.

  30. 30 kyle r October 13, 2009 at 7:32 AM

    obesity is a huge problem but raisng a 1 cent tax for every ounce wont solve or cure obesity. What it could do is help our economy. their is so much soda being sold that 1 cent could go along way. They should charge a pennie for every can a pennie for every ounce is a little steep. Obesity does not take away from healthcare, people who abouse our health care like the homeless or poeople who are 99 years old using a ventulator to stay alive would be considered a problem. take away cheese puffs and the couch and maybe we’ll cure obesity, i drink a lot of soda and im not even close to be obese.

  31. 31 Angela October 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    If the government wants to raise tax on soda, they wouldn’t call it “to fight obesity”. Soda represents only a small porcentage of extra calories intake compare with the calories intake for the burguer w/extra mayonaise and fries that someone can order at any fastfood restaurant. I do not believe that raising this tax, will lower obesity in this country.

  32. 32 selduhhh October 19, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    I’m sure everyone is aware that obesity has become an issue, and I think it’s great that people are trying to fight obesity, I just don’t agree with how the nutritionist and economist are doing it. Taxing soda and other sweetened beverages, to me, seems like it wouldn’t make a difference. I think someone one should be going out to schools and teaching the people about theur health.

  33. 33 Genine Lobo October 21, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    I do not think a tax of 1 cent on every of ounce of sodas and other sweetened beverages will make a difference in the diet of the majority of Americans who are soda drinkers. There are many people who love and are even addicted to soda. These people will surely spend an extra dollar or two to drink it, and will continue spending this additional amount to satisfy their cravings. To see any significant changes in the amount of soda people buy, officials would have to make a much more dramatic tax on sodas. Just as the article states, “Proposals for a hefty soda tax though have repeatedly fallen flat.” Just as it has repetitively shown in the past, this additional attempt also has a very high percentage of it failing.

  34. 34 Carling November 8, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    In general, I think that if America lowered it’s obesity rate, we would be better off. Medical Insurance costs would be lower for many. My doctor was telling me Kaiser Permanente has a deduction on their insurance if you are not obese. He was telling me that in the long run, if Kaiser has healthy clients they wont have to spend money helping their clients paying expensive procedures such as gastric bypass, knee and hip replacements and others.

  35. 35 Nicole Hernandez November 10, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    I don’t think people would prevent from buying soda for taxing it. I also don’t think that they want to lower obesity. It seems like they are just trying find little ways to make money. People are still going to buy soda no matter what, so they think, why not tax it and make some money?

  36. 36 Karla Martinez November 23, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    I think taxing soda would be an effective way to show awareness that it is harmful to ones health. I don’t think it will necessarily stop people from buying soda, but the fact that it would be taxed by the ounce might be an incentive to downsize to a smaller amount than people what people would normally buy otherwise. This might show a purchasing decrease only in lower income people, but not in the rest of the population. I think this would be a good start, but in order to get more results the tax would have to be a lot higher.

  37. 37 Kathryn Koller November 27, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Taxing soda is in no way a direct link to the obesity issues the U.S. is dealing with. Either the obese people who are buying the soda will deal with the price mark up or they will find a substitute. This is like when my school decided to get rid of the student store and the vending machines in hopes to get kids to eat healthier and stop the town obesity…however the school didn’t really think through their plan because our campus is an open campus so everyone would just run across the street to the gas station for drinks. So not only was the school losing money from the sales they could’ve gotten they also didn’t solve the unhealthy food choices of the students. There is a same type of “sin tax” on alcohol and cigarettes and that hasn’t stopped people from buying these goods, I really don’t think it’s going to work for soda either.

  38. 38 Evan Schlinkert November 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    I really like this idea, the fact is not only will this soda tax help out health care, but hopefully slowdown the huge rate of obesity in our country. A cent per ounce of soda would end up being twelve cents for a small can, that will end up adding up quite fast when you buy any soda. To me this would be great, probably because I don’t drink soda often, but because it would help several aspects of our life.

  39. 39 Hyo Kim November 30, 2009 at 12:32 AM

    Although they tax on soda, how many people would stop drinking soda? It’s just something that can’t change due to the food culture in America.

  40. 40 Nubia Cazares December 3, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    I think that the tax on sodas has good intentions. Our country is suffering from obesity and children from a very young age have to deal with obesity. I don’t think this tax will make much of a difference. Children and families love soda, and a one cent tax will most likely not affect the demand on the soda. I definitely think that something should be done to help with obesity but taxing soda might not work as well as people hope it will. It’s definitely a great start to dealing with the issue. They are trying to do the same thing that is being done with cigarettes, and for the most part it’s not really making a difference but could be creating a slow impact. Time will tell if this tax makes any difference at all.

  41. 41 Samantha Fagundes December 5, 2009 at 10:31 PM

    It is a good thing that America is trying to stop obesity, but I don’t think that this tax is going to do much. I don’t believe a lot of people are going to stop drinking sods just because the price went up just a little bit.

  42. 42 Kali Hardcastle December 6, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    i honestly dont think that taxing sodas is going to get america anywhere in fighting obesity. there are so many other factors in adding to the obesity. however, its definitely up to the individual. plus, the fact that the tax of soda increases one cent per ounce, people are still going to buy sodas and other sugary drinks. the price of everything increases anyway. people will cope. i think that even though america is trying to solve the obesity problems, i think that its sad that the government is trying to encourage people to be healthy for themselves by taxing them. its something that people need to work on for themselves.

  43. 43 Vince Kaehler December 6, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    I cannot think of a good reason to tax soda is, other then the government wanting more tax revenue. This is the reason why so many businesses are suffering. Soda is a big business and if taxed, it would hurt the business and thus the jobless rate would increase. The government needs to stay out of American business. I firmly believe it is up to the individual to make good decisions that will help his health. The government should not be telling individuals what to do unless it affects some other human being.

  44. 44 Anna Chkhikvishvili December 6, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    I think that when someone tells you not to do something or have something, you want it even more. I dont believe that soda’s are a good way to direct obesity. I do believe that when someone wants something, the price, especially such a little raise in tax, will not change anything. People should just be able to eat whatever they want. The best thing that can be done is to have labels that have calorie intake and fat intake. Wait, we already have that! so i say to just leave it be.

  45. 45 Martin M December 6, 2009 at 8:40 PM

    In a sense, I would go for the tax, but then I wouldn’t. I myself do not drink soda, its been about 4 years. It is a very good idea to try and stop obesity, but I think that we have no control on how an individual should live. All drinks should be open to all and that is how I see things. I also agree with Hyo Kim. Soda is something that people cannot escape and they would continue to drink it if they favor it as they favor cigarettes for example.

  46. 46 Sarah Reddell December 6, 2009 at 11:46 PM

    I have always thought this would be a great way for the government to raise money while doing something good for the nation. We as Americans have the highest obesity rate and a simple tax on the things that cause this is a great thing.

  47. 47 amos mccray-goldsmith December 7, 2009 at 12:40 AM

    i do not see this ever happening. the soda industry is such a large one that i dont think a senator or congressmen will have enough power to take them down. by which i mean put a tax on them that decreases their revenue. futhermore a tax on soda may be seen as another tax on the poor, in that it more greatly effects them than it does the rich. but soda consumption may not do down by that much, just because we are americans and we love ourselves a gook coke and are not wiling to part with that.

  48. 48 Stephen Cassinelli December 8, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    Although this may seem like a good idea to help stop obesity, i don’t think that it will matter. If people want to buy soda they are going to buy soda. If the price of soda went up lets say a whole dollar than then maybe there would be a difference, but again probably not that much. This could be a good way as someone above pointed out earlier to help raise extra money for the government and actually put it towards something that can benefit the cause.

  49. 49 Broderick Nickelberry Jr. December 11, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Trying to help obesity is a good thing. taxing soda more would be a funny way of doing it tho. People still will buy it but if the money goes to a good place that would be fine.

  50. 50 Taylor Latt December 14, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    this brings a valid point to mind. if someone wants a soda, they will pay for it. just like tax on cigarettes. the people who smoke will continue to pay for them until they cannot smoke anymore, or cigarettes are “extinct.” if we want to control obesity, we need to start with educating kids about how to eat, and make sure it is being reinforced at home. the government can only do so much, parents need to realize that obesity is a problem, and help out too.

  51. 51 Hayden Scott December 14, 2009 at 5:11 PM

    I’m torn between two gut responses: “These sin taxes that are meant to control individual choice are an abuse of government powers” and “Why the heck not”. I know such taxes aren’t going away and while I don’t condone creating more these forms of taxes I would at least like to remove any exemptions that are remaining on junk food from being non taxed ‘food stuffs.’ On a more practical level, I wonder how elastic the market for soda is and how much a small tax would decrease quantity demanded. As I said before, there are other ways to ‘guide’ public behavior that aren’t so tightly tied to government control. Small scale social norms enforced by the community (the kind that Elinor Ostrom talks about) would probably have a much greater effect on both behavior AND attitudes toward excessive abuses of food.

  52. 52 TTS06 December 17, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    I think this is an excellent idea. I think we should raise all sin taxes quite substantially and this would have a positive influence by reducing the purchase of these products and the taxes could pay for a healthcare system.

  53. 53 Ryan Moura May 1, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    I am all for this idea. I think that this countries weight problem has spiraled out of control and it is due to a number of reasons. Soda, although a very flavorful and refreshing beverage, it is probably one of th worst things that you can put into your body. If they were to tax soda the way they tax alcohol or tobacco, I think that the sales would go down on soda nationwide, which would reduce the consumption by the people. If the tax was sufficient enough it could prove to fight the war against obesity and therefore help people choose a smarter drink for a healthy future.

  54. 54 Stephanie Boyle May 18, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Obesity is obviously a huge problem in the United States, but a taxation on soda in not going to affect people’s decision on buying it. The problem is bigger than soda and the decision is bigger that a penny or two. There are many reasons that people are obese, and yes soda could be contributing to this, but it is not enough. Something else will have to be done to encourage better eating habits. This can relate to the calorie counts on menus, these little things may change a few people’s decisions, but not enough for these actions to be worth it. They are just a waste of time and money. Something else should be put in place, something that will affect more than a few people.

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