Taxing sugared drinks to fight obesity

April 8, 2009 2:36:47 PM PDT
Some public health experts say the best way to fight obesity is to tax sugared drinks. Now, several states are considering special taxes for soda and other sweetened beverages. Experts say this move could reduce Americans' consumption by as much as 10 percent and help many people and kids with weight problems cut calories and slim down. Americans love their sugared beverages, partly because of economics, since soda is cheaper and more available than milk.

So some experts say it's time to level the playing field and tax sugared beverages, especially since studies show people who consume sweetened drinks tend to weigh more and have a higher risk for diabetes.

Levying a tax to change behavior is a move that has shown success in curtailing other habits. For example, higher taxes on cigarettes have helped curb smoking rates. And now, states like Maine and New York are considering a tax to reduce soda consumption.

Experts say this move is needed because education alone isn't working. The only way to get people to stop drinking so many of their calories is to hit them in their pocketbooks.

But companies are fighting back, like PepsiCo. The soda giant is considering moving its headquarters out of New York state if the proposed tax on sugared beverages goes forward.

Web produced by: Maura Sweeney


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP OR PHOTO  || REPORT TYPO ||  GET WIDGET

 EYEWITNESS TWITTER ||  FIND US ON FACEBOOK


Load Comments