Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mmmm... SODA

The walls on my glass house are feeling particularly thick tonight, so I think I'll dust off my soapbox for a moment.

If I ran the world - or at least the U.S. - I would tax the daylights out of soda. While I don't think that soda is the single source of the increasing obesity and health issues our nation is drowning in, I DO think that it's one of the big culprits. As such, I thoroughly enjoyed Mark Bittman's recent article in the New York Times comparing soda to tobacco.

Look, I enjoy a cold Diet Coke as much as the next sleep-starved mommy, but I think I have my soda consumption under control (and if you're curious, I'd say I consume, on average, 1-2 sodas per week). Unfortunately, there are many, many people who regularly consume hundreds of ounces each week - each one chock full with high-fructose corn syrup and empty calories.

I consider soda to be a luxury. Just as we heavily tax alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline, we should absolutely tax the CRAP out of soda. It's not as though there's no alternative to that 64 oz. of Mountain Dew you're eyeing at the Git-n-Go. We are blessed to live in a country with consistently clean, safe, readily available DRINKING WATER.

Most shocking to me? A few weeks ago I viewed a news story on this idea, and they stated that a recent poll showed that 85% of Americans are AGAINST a soda tax. Really? When we can raise billions and I don't know, FUND PUBLIC HEALTH CARE?

Maybe America will change its mind when the insurance companies start dropping coverage due to the epic rise in diabetes, heart disease, and the plethora of other obesity related health conditions. By that time it'll be too little, too late.


Kelly said...

I am all for a soda tax and just a flat out higher "junk food" tax.

Chrissy Jo said...

Wow, Amy. I recently had a conversation of this nature with my mother. All I can say is AMEN!