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Weekly Online Poll

Will taxes on soda and other sweet beverages have an impact on obesity rates?

Results:

  • Yes
    17%
  • No
    83%

Comments

The only thing that will have an impact on obesity rates is individuals and parents taking responsibility for them selves and their children!!!! Back to home cooked meals!
THE ONLY WAY THIS TAX WILL AFFECT SUGAR SALES IS IF THE TAX MUST BE PAID BY THE BUYER INSTEAD OF THE FOOD STAMPS. MOST FOOD IS NOT TAXED ANYWAY.
theres two sides to obesity...calories in AND calories out...exercise
How about some personal responsibility. Taxing things does not solve that. In California, we already have it taxed, and pay Redemtion on soda. Taxing products because they MAY help make you fat is just another way to say they want to raise revenue, and this is one way-in the guise of helping people not get obese.
The family culture has changed so dramatically in the recent decades that very little time is allocated for family meals and less thought is given to family nutrional planning. Nutrition and weight is both an individual and a family responsibility. Taxing soda pop is nothing more than a cleverly disguised ruse to generate government revenue.
You pay $1.00 for a can of soda in NYC. with the change of 1 cent we go to $1.12.Retailers will simply raise the price to $1.25 making a profit off the deal. Will that change you buying a soda? Looks to me another inflationary tactic to raise more money to line pockets not make anyone heatlhy at the expense of the common folk.
I suspect the demand for soda is elastic but that the demand for sweet is inelastic. Therefore calorie reduction from soda will just be replaced with increased calories from other calorie laden foods.

We need more individual/family responsibility and less government intervention.
When laws/taxes are established to regulate the private behavior of individuals and their personal freedom of choice - the question arrises, "to what measure does that choice affect society at large?" I enjoy a soda from time-to-time. Should I be taxed a superfluous tax because some people can not manage their choices? Where should government draw the line? Should government play a role in decreasing the profitability of a legitimate company's commerce? What if it was your core business the government decided was excessive and negatively affecting others (hey - this is advertising) and they decided to add a tax of 1%-58%. How would that affect your profitability? How much would it chip away at your consumer base? Listen folks, this is America. Sure, you can hit people in the wallets and motivate a change from the sweet soda, but I am in the south. Ever heard of sweet tea? This tax might affect one industry, but there is always an alternative source.
tanyacasta@mac.com
Taxing alone will not help. Creating healthy eating habits will and that starts at home. Parents need to teach children at an early age good eating habits. If they are not given sodas, they won't crave them.
One of the reasons that people buy unhealthy food is because it's so cheap. Making it less cheap will absolutely decrease consumption. It may not be a huge decrease, and this obviously isn't the only factor that needs to be changed, but it's something. Right now, a lot of the thought process is, "I'll buy soda instead of juice because it is less expensive." If this changes, we will surely see a decrease in soda consumption in lower-income families.
gemmer@kaeser-blair.com
Ohio has had a “pop tax” for several years and it has been simply another tax! No consumption habits have changed. This tax like the one proposed for NY is just the latest attempt at trying to feed a big bloated and growing government. The obesity is in government. People will never take personal responsibility for what they eat as long as the government keeps blaming marketers for promoting their products. Fast food and snack food can’t be far behind with tax hungry politicians. In Ohio any food eaten in a restaurant is taxed. Most states tax beer, wine and the other adult beverages. Using public health as an excuse is a well practiced scheme of liberal tax hungry politicians. If you keep electing them why are you surprised when they want to make government bigger?
erin.haskell@crowleywebb.com
I'd buy way less candy if they added a sugar tax to it!
a certain segment of the population will never eat right so we may as well get some revenue out of it
Does this mean that coffee or iced tea would be included in the tax? an office I was with previously replaced free soda with vending machine. Immediately coffee consumption skyrocketed and sugar packets were hoarded... not to mention the regular runs to Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee, most with sugar. I've seen this with friends (and myself) when cutting back on sodas or eliminating them all together.
I agree that stronger parental control and exercise would both have dramatic affects. The reality is, changing human behavior is a much more difficult and less controllable task. Smoking is a similar issue, we all know that not smoking and more exercise address that issue dramatically. The reality is, many people don’t listen for a variety of reasons. At the same time, there are many studies that directly link cigarette taxes to sharp declines in smoking. The soda tax is simply an extension of those learnings. The real question becomes, how high must the tax be in order to effect real change?
This is a win-win situation. We address significant tax revenue decline concerns while at the same time doing something known to be effective.
Now that said, government budget control and spending waste still needs to be addressed and people should exercise more and mind their caloric intake and burn rates.
The tax is just another effective tool in the toolbox.
And where does this all end? Will I soon be taxed on my bacon? My butter? Foie Gras will become illegal and I'll be paying a fine for being on the beach without sunscreen. the government can stay out of my pantry.
Government should stay out of parenting. If this starts, then all things sugar will be taxed from ice cream to candy, from desserts at restaurants to cotton candy at the circus. These are the kind of things that people/families enjoy now and then as treats for themselves or as a family. Taxing won't be a deterrant, just a hardship. Starts with education in schools and at home and having these types of foods/drinks in moderation.
-Pete Kovac
www.nicholsonkovac.com
http://twitter.com/FPeteKovac
peterfeld@gmail.com
It's just a win-win. Either it works and obesity goes down, or it doesn't and the state gets more revenue to offset the societal costs of the health damage. There is no ethical issue in government regulating an industry that has been brainwashing people to guzzle sugar-water by the gallon for over a century (prior to which humans did not naturally do so). If you're just an occasional soda drinker, you won't feel it. And the impact of cigarette taxes in NYC in cutting smoking rates has been proven a huge success. Viva la Nanny State!
Did taxing cigarettes reduce smoking?
Why don’t we add a tax to McDonalds, Wendy’s, KFC, Taco Bell and all the other fast food restaurants? What about Marie Calendar’s frozen dinners, or Hungry Man Frozen dinners and the entire chip industry? Maybe we should tax processed foods.
Taxing is not the answer to the problem.
Companies and their advertising are responsible for changing and shaping society. The “adwashing” process starts by targeting our children before they get to preschool age.
In this first stage of “adwashing” (gotta have it) they are showered with all the toys, foods, and other items we wish to push their way. The second stage of “adwashing” is the (don’t wait, get it now) where we offer the good life now, if they will only trade away their future earnings and chance of living a debt free life. No we have done a good enough job of shaping, molding, and controlling society that taxes can undo what we have put in place.
terry@corbellmanagement.com
No. This is a disingenuous attempt to create tax revenue.

We're seeing it in Washington state in a special session of the state legislature. Instead of implementing efficiencies in a $2.8 billion shortfall, they're hiking taxes in countless ways and have increased spending.

They're creating all kinds of sin taxes --from chocolate to gasoline. They're tripling the gas tax. But Washington already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country (and the legislature keeps diverting gas revenue away from roads and using it for state workers).

Plus they're violating standards of transparency -- closed meetings, failure to adequately inform the public about hearings in advance, and witing ghost tax bills (yes, the bills are blank so they can furtively insert tax verbiage later).

Business morale is low. In my county, the unemployment rate is 11 percent. None of us mind adversity, but government is hindering economic prosperity.

My sense is that it is a theft of economic freedom and political freedom. Who cares if someone drinks a Coke or eats chocolate?

Terry Corbell
CMS Associates LLC
www.bizcoachinfo.com
melodymehta@shaw.ca
The government has no role in telling people what they must eat and drink. Freedom of choice is essential, and taxing any product because politicians don't approve of it has the potential for future widespread abuse. The government is best off sticking to its regulatory role, and in this case, banning the dangerous substance High Fructose Corn Syrup and requiring manufacturers to use real sugar would be a better move in my opinion. HFCS is in almost every food and drink today instead of sugar, but unlike sugar it doesn't trigger the sense of satiety in the brain. Going back to real sugar wouldn't be a complete answer, but it would be a step in the right direction. The longer term answer is going to have to be a widespread return to real and whole foods.
janetbergin@gmail.com
Could we spend that extra tax money on having PE and health classes everyday in all the schools in the country?
cdougherty@waterrf.org
The tax might help government budget issues, but increasing taxes on cigarettes didn't encourage people to quit smoking. Advertising the negative health effects did a better job at encouraging smokers to quit, but even then it's an addiction that some will not/cannot give up.

Taxing is not the solution to the problem, it's a bandaid. Education would help, but obesity is a reflection of our county's mental state. We are too rushed and stressed out to care what we are putting in our bodies. Making it cost a little more isn't going to change that--these are comfort foods and people need comfort right now.

I'm not totally against a tax to help our out-of-control deficit, but call it what it is--don't try to sugar coat is as a solution to obesity.
allen@pacificcoast.net
No the tax will not do it but if our reps ever have enough sense to bring in health care they will have some money to fund it.
Parents need to take responsibility for what goes into their children. When my children (now 49 & 50)were growing up, you did not find cases of soda (or pop as we used to call it) in my home. When my kids were thirsty, they drank water. At dinner time, it was either milk, kool-aid or homemade lemonade, a much healthier alternative because i controlled the sugar.

Fast forward to 2010...my daughter has done the same with her daughter, who is now 10 years old.
Soda is a no-no in their home. Full of sugar and empty calories. I don't think they are the exception, because there are other moms out there making healthier choices for their kids too. Maybe just not enough.

Government just needs to keep its nose out of trying to regulate what a person puts into their body period! It's called Freedom of Choice. I might not like soda pop, but I am against TAXATION on it. Like some have said, it is just another way of trying to get more money so they can spend more money!!! The FAT is in the Government and that's what needs to be cut!
The candy and snack companies have got their prices high enough now I eat less of it. I do eat more other things in place of it like fried chicken, and hamburgers. I am the same weight I was 10 years ago. And I have seen others that drink sodas all the time and are just as skinny as can be. I think it has more to do with what your washing down with that soda. This tax thing is just what all taxes are. Finding more ways to take in more of everyone's hard earned dollars.
cllewellyn@comcast.net
No more taxes. Sugar tax? How do you control that anyway? There is hidden sugar in almost every processed food today. Discriminate and pick on soda? What about taxing portion sizes? Wait, the air we breathe? How about donuts? The government needs to get out of being our parents and into serving the people. I can't believe someone would even suggest taxing soda. Look, the politicans can't even control their own colleagues... why do they think they are entitled to "sin tax" soda? If soda is your guilty pleasure then what crime have you committed? Health? What about all those beautiful super skinny models who starve themselves thin? Is that healthy? Time for another tea party???
As everyone has already pointed out, this has nothing to do with health. This is a tax to raise revenue for our spendthrift politicians with a soft sell "spin". Nevermind the lost revenue from the lost sales tax, the lost jobs due to reduced sales, and the nonesense of taxing soft drinks but not candy bars, ice cream, and chilli-cheese fries! The issue is we eat too much and exercise too little and expect a painless cure because we want what we want without any discomfort. Sounds like our eating/exercise habits are just as bad as our politicians spending/taxing habits!
Taxes do not control behavior. Smokers still smoke. Drinkers still drink.
It would be difficult for parents to tell their kids not to drink soda if they themselves are so accustomed to drinking this truly hazardous thing. There needs to be an overhaul of the current perception that drnking soda is ok. Soda and drinks saturated with high frutose corn syrup is a really dangerous thing. HFCS is not the same as sugar in terms of the glycemic index and how it genrally reacts to your body. And if there is nothing out there discouraging this, nothing will change. Taxes (though extreme) is a perfect way to discourange this, as it worked when taxes were imposed on smoking decades ago. Now the general perception of a cigarette is no longer that of glamour and attractiveness.

Its difficult to change the collective consiousness, but this can be an attemmpts towards a solution.
now the people who can least afford it are going to be fat AND broke. keep up the good work lawmakers. really earning that 9% approval rating.
I agree with moswt of the other posts, unless we get a handle on ;the way we parent our children, nothing, especially a tax, is going to change things like childhood obesity. Try something else guys like letting Americans make enough to go back to raising our kids, when we as parents have to work 3-4 jobs for one household, the national media raise our kids for us, through ad campaigns!
This tax and others like it never have any real effect on obesity. Greedy politicians are always clever enough to know what hot buttons to push to get easy touches and bleeding hearts to agree after all it makes them feel like something is being done for the cause whatever the cause is. Despite this the money is almost never spent to help the cause just however the politicos feel like using it. People rarely bother to spend any time checking to see if what is taxed actually results in anything other than more taxes.

We could go on and on about raising up a generation of people who are taught not to be responsible for their actions, everyone is a victim , etc. It's not their fault they are fat, not their fault they eat mostly foods filled with chemicals and hormones, not their fault that for years the government pushed high carb foods and encouraged farmers and food manufacturing loaded our foods with starches, fats, and carbs. hey they used to think it was good thing. They spent years teaching our parents to over feed us, it was cheap, filling, and what the great thinkers thought was correct at the time just like stopping fires from burning to ensure fire storms they had no idea they were creating fuel, building damns everywhere was a great idea, had no idea it would screw up the life cycle of forests, fish, sediment beds, shall we go on?

At its essence this is just another tax that will do nothing for anyone accept help the greedy power mongers have more to play with and more power over you. It may pass but 5 or 10 years from now nothing will have changed accept they will be even more taxes on all kinds of other things because each will be the new magic bullet to solve our health, obesity, or problem du jour.
sherifs@hotmail.com
It's all about YOU and NOT about TAXES. You are the one who decides what to eat and what not to eat. Taxes don't decide for you. If you drink a can of soda everyday, you will continue to drink a can of soda everyday even if it's a little bit more expensive because you like it! and if you decide to reduce your consumption of soda it will not be because of the tax, but because YOU want to drink less of it! Or you can keep drinking your soda and move your ass more often! This tax is ridiculous! I understand taxes on cigarettes, but taxes on soft drinks?! what will be next? tax on Turkey and Ice cream cause they have a lot of fat?!
Putting a tax on soda will not be a disincentive to people who want to drink it. It may in fact have the reverse affect, as potentially, the additional money spent on soda, will not be available for other, healthier foods. It's the carrot and the stick questions. If the government really wants to motivate weight loss (next conversation: SHOULD the government even be involved with this issue in the first place?), the better approach would be supporting efforts to PROMOTE healthy, whole foods...and to all the points made in these postings...help deliver information to families on fast, easy ways to prepare healthy, flavorful meals.

And, to the issue of government meddling in our freedom to choose what we eat by way of taxation. Seriously. Who's calling who fat? The government is bloated, over-stuffed, over-flowing its originally intended banks. We are overtaxed and becoming over-socialized. The theme of the posts in regard to family-responsibility dials back to peronal responsibility and self-reliance. Get the government out of the baby sitting business. The founding of this country was fueled by a passion for self-determination. Let's stop stoking and stroking the flames of entitlement.
rwordplay@earthlink.net
I suspect it will, of course, not the tax itself, but the implications. The message: soda is not good for you will be be repeated ad naseum. The drink will disappear from TV and films and it slowly fade from our preferences, just as cigarettes have. Then, once flavored soda water is out, then the Meddlers will focus on salty snack foods, etc.

I love Coca-Cola and often describe it as the quintessential drink of the 20th Century. But throwback that I am, I too realize this is 2010 and to live in one's time is not simply an option, it is an imperative.
This is particularly true not that we're asking the government to tend to our health and giving insurance companies the power to enforce the noose of health guidelines.

And, what of pleasure for pleasures sake?
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