Sunday, March 28, 2010

Should The Government Tax Soda And Pizza?

Researchers from the University of North Carolina estimate that an 18% tax on soda and pizza would likely lower the calorie intake of U.S. adults enough to reduce their weight by an average of 5 pounds.

"While such policies will not solve the obesity epidemic in its entirety and may face considerable opposition from food manufacturers and sellers, they could prove an important strategy to address overconsumption, help reduce energy intake and potentially aid in weight loss and reduced rates of diabetes among U.S. adults," wrote the team led by Kiyah Duffey of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tax soda, pizza to cut obesity, researchers say

In the study, a reference is made to taxes on cigarettes but those comparisons are irrelevant; those taxes are on ALL cigarettes. Even IF such taxes would decrease consumption of soda or pizza, it's likely that most people would simply exchange one crap choice for another.

Instead of soda, they might start drinking lattes or sugary juice drinks or iced tea. Do you know how many calories are in some of those designer coffees? There are worse foods than pizza. Taxing it, MAY make someone not eat as much pizza but who's to say they wouldn't substitute pizza for a Double Whopper and fries or a Bloomin' Onion?

I am not a fan of food manufacturers misleading the public with the claims on their products and believe the government should address it. People are often clearly confused by what truly is a healthy choice. That being said, does anyone really believe that soda is good for them?

The bottom line is education and personal responsibility.

Did you happen to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution the other night? He went into a classroom and held up tomatoes and asked what they were; a kid said potatoes. The children couldn't identify a potato and didn't know that french fries came from them. Another kid believed an eggplant was a pear. Most of the kids had no idea what the vegetables Oliver held up were. These weren't "exotic" foods; they were basic veggies.

The change needs to start with adults taking responsibility for their health and that of their children. I actually agree with those who believe that if the majority of a child's nutrition comes from fast food and processed junk, it's child neglect.

That's what happening in our country. The kids get processed junk in school and then come home to a dinner of McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's, pizza, etc. An occasional fast food meal isn't going to destroy anyone's health but too many Americans are LIVING on this diet and it is slowly killing them.

As a country, we NEED to improve our diets and dump excess fat.

We can't afford the increasing medical bills to treat all the health issues associated with horrible diets and obesity. Education will do far more to improve our nutrition and lower obesity rates than taxing certain foods. I hope Jamie Oliver's food revolution really catches fire and spreads.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Is taxing pizza and soda the way to go?

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