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TOPIC:   Taxes on Sugared Beverages Being Discussed to Help 


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BEASTLET
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4/21/09 4:31 P

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I think this is a terrible idea! You can't tax people into good health -- they have to want it for themselves. Why stop there? How about an extra "fat tax" on a Big Mac? How about a "diabetes tax" on huge restaurant desserts?

Adults should be able to make their own decisions about their health -- even if the decisions are bad -- without government interference. It's part of being responsible for yourself.

This is why I found the famous McDonald's court case infuriating. Nobody took those people, staked them down, and forced Quarter Pounders with cheese down their throats. They chose to eat them, and chose to be overweight as a result. I understand the desire, as a goodly portion of my former 250 lbs came from yummy QPers with cheese, but I also accept that it was my decision to eat them.

A tax such as this is totally regressive -- it hits poor people way more than rich people. People with lower incomes spend proportionately more of those incomes on food items; any increase in food costs hits them harder.

Finally, the cigarette tax in no way decreases cigarette smoking. Smokers either pay it or buy their cigarettes via a non-taxable source. Here a lot of people buy them from the Indian reservations where they are not taxed. My mom buys hers off the internet and pays about half what they are in local stores. Just like Dee said, I have never heard one smoker say they're quitting because taxes are higher.

~beastlet~


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VITAMINJ
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4/18/09 10:10 P

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Gold nurse star for Nora!

All the freaky people make the beauty in the world.


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NGM1692
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4/18/09 8:22 P

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i do think it's interesting that they're saying it's to help obesity. i'd rather them say "we're in a financial crisis, we want to tax what we consider 'optional' consumer products to boost the economy" or something (i'm not very versed, so i probably said something wrong in there). i don't think anyone is going to stop drinking the stuff (i stopped drinking much besides water, tea and the occasional milk years ago).

i always thought people used sippy cups so the kiddies wouldn't knock their glasses over all the time & make a mess. the only person i know who currently uses them (b's older sister) does give the kids water most of the time. i think milk only at night, but she almost never has juice in the house (for any consumption). regardless of what it does to teeth, it teaches the kids to be less responsible with their liquids. when they can knock things over with no consequences... oh well.

i promise, joey, that if i have children (at this rate - never), i'll not use sippy cups!

Edited by: NGM1692 at: 4/18/2009 (20:23)
nora


"...if i lost my keys, i'd want to find them. i haven't lost 63 pounds, i've *removed* them" (BFL)


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VITAMINJ
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4/17/09 10:26 A

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I think that experience with other taxes demonstrates that it is unlikely that such a move would deter people from drinking sugared beverages. I wouldn't object to a good try with it, though.

We train kids from the earliest age that carrying around a constant source of sugary calories is an okay thing to do. The advent of the "sippy cup" in the last couple of generations has given us a way to keep toddlers happy. Many parents fill these with juice, under the popular impression that fruit juices are better for you, when the truth is that fruit juices can be higher in calories than soda. Milk is another high calorie drink that kids are encouraged to drink large amounts of. A small child could easily drink their total daily requirement of calories from a sippy cup in a relatively short amount of time, then we make them sit down and eat.

I'm not so naive as to blame the sippy cup for the obesity epidemic. However, it does point out that we don't do much thinking about the calorie requirements of small children, and teaching them to live within them. Instead, we push children to eat, eat, eat, on top of the calories they are drinking. Kids are able, actually, to drink from cups from about six months of age. The sippy cup was invented not for the child at large, but for children with cleft palates, to keep them from choking when drinking. Now, they are a convenience item with the power to give kids a constant feed of calories, and potentially to deform their teeth.

And shouldn't we be teaching our kids to drink water, anyway?

Sorry... that was my nurse anti-sippy-cup rant!

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DEEANN8
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4/14/09 8:50 P

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Have you seen the new tax on cigarettes? I know lots of people who smoke... and though they don't like it, they pay the price and I haven't heard one person say they were quitting due to the increased price.

They also have high taxes around here on restaraunts and movie theaters, but we still go.

I'd also be curious to know what the government proposes to due with the funds. In Illinois, they started a lottery -- to solve the school system's woes. However, only a certain dollar amount actually goes to the schools... the rest goes 'who knows where'

So... I doubt a soda tax will deter soda drinkers from drinking soda. It'll just give them something to complain about while they're drinking it.

Edited by: DEEANN8 at: 4/14/2009 (20:51)
Dee

"All things can be done for the one who believes." Mark 9:23

“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” --Will Rogers


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NGM1692
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4/14/09 1:47 P

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A perspective article published on April 8, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), raises the idea of adding an additional tax on high sugar drinks. The NEJM article notes that sugared drinks may represent the single largest contributor to the obesity epidemic in the United States. They identify drinks such as soda sweetened with sugar, corn syrup, or other sweeteners and other carbonated and uncarbonated drinks, such as sports and energy drinks.

The authors of the NEJM article note that there are some studies that do not connect these drinks with obesity. However, they dismiss these objections by noting, "Studies that do not support a relationship between consumption of sugared beverages and health outcomes tend to be conducted by authors supported by the beverage industry."

The NEJM article and several new articles in the general media report that currently 40 states now have taxes on soft drinks or snack foods, but that these taxes are small and do not affect the consumption of these beverages. However, ABC news reported in an April 8, 2009 news story that the governor of New York was proposing an 18 percent tax on sugared beverages.

The ABC article addresses the question if higher taxes would lower the consumption of sugared drinks by looking at the example of tobacco. Increased taxes on tobacco have been credited with dramatically lowering usage. They then claim that economic studies on soft drinks show that a 15 percent tax on sugared beverages should drop consumption by 12 to 15 percent, and higher taxes would have stronger effects.

The authors of the NEJM article summed up their conclusions by stating, "A penny-per-ounce excise tax could reduce consumption of sugared beverages by more than 10%. It is difficult to imagine producing behavior change of this magnitude through education alone, even if government devoted massive resources to the task. In contrast, a sales tax on sugared drinks would generate considerable revenue, and as with the tax on tobacco, it could become a key tool in efforts to improve health."


discuss...


nora


"...if i lost my keys, i'd want to find them. i haven't lost 63 pounds, i've *removed* them" (BFL)


 current weight: 185.0 
 
191
179.5
168
156.5
145


 
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