Tax on Soda—Will You Still Drink It?

tax on soda obesity

Photo from Coca Cola

Two-thirds of American adults are obese or overweight. Health officials think that one way to deal with the obesity problem is by putting a tax on soda.

"The average American consumes roughly 250 calories more today than they did two or three decades ago," said Thomas Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at the "Weight of the Nation" conference on obesity held last week. "Of that, about 120 calories is in the form of sodas and other sugared food and beverages."

A soft drink tax would not only help Americans lose weight, it would also raise money that the country spends (almost 150 billion dollars a year) treating preventable health conditions caused by obesity. While about 40 of the 50 states currently tax soft drinks and junk food, the taxes are too low to have an impact on consumption.

In 2002, Frieden, who was then the health commissioner of New York, raised cigarette taxes so high that a pack now costs around $10. He guessed that people would kick the habit if smoking cost too much, and he was right. Over six years, adult smoking decreased by 25 percent and teen smoking dropped 50 percent.

Frieden thinks the same can be done with soda and obesity.

What do you think? Would you stop drinking soda if there was a significantly higher tax on it? Do you think quitting soda alone would help you lose weight?


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Nicol... Nicole1002

First I think wow what else are they going to tax?  What formula and diapers?  Because we should breastfeed and use cloth diapers?  Next... what about diet soda?  Does this cause obesity?  Personally we don't buy that much pop.  If they did put a tax on it I wouldn't buy it just to not give the feds anymore of my money, they get enough already!

ChaiLady ChaiLady

This is ridiculous.. We are drowning in taxes as it is. You can't do anything without being taxed on it. They need to lower the pay scale of politicians; they obviously aren't doing there jobs if all they come with is taxes everything we touch. NO THEY SHOULD NOT TAX POP PRODUCTS.

tgiamt tgiamt

I love me some pop. Guess what, I weigh 118. Taxing for obesity is ridiculous! How about making healthier choices less expensive.

auror... aurorabunny

I don't buy it as it is so it won't affect me.

Lokis... LokisMama

We quit drinking soda a while ago, as it's a lot cheaper to buy some sugar and a box of tea bags.  And a bit better for you. :-p

KatieP. KatieP.

I never drink soda. Occasionally as a treat when out in a restuarant which is how I personally think it should be consumed. Don't know how I feel about the tax. Guess I don't think about it since I don't drink it. Its sugar water! (Once in an intro chem class they had us convert the grams of sugar in a soda into tablespoons as an exercise, I was absolutly shocked, and I always knew that it had a lot of sugar too)

josie... josie_mommyof2

Seriously, aren't we being taxed enough?!?!?  Has it maybe occured to the frogging gov't that maybe, many of us aren't overweight due to soda and junk food, but, maybe a lot of us are depressed with how much things cost and how little cash is left in our pockets, so we turn to that $6.00 case of soda or that $.75 candy bar, just for a small self indulgence!?!??!

josie... josie_mommyof2

This one bugged me, so had to come back to add more. lol Next thing ya know, when we stop at Wal-Mart or the gas station and we use the potty, there is going to be a dispenser for tp and you'll have to put change in for a tp tax! Or maybe a coin operated potty to tax your bodily waste! UGGGGGH!

auror... aurorabunny

I don't support these tax hikes on ANYTHING, but I really don't think we should compare soda to things like diapers or toilet paper.  Soda is no more a "necessity" than cigarettes nor is it any healthier.

SxdUp... SxdUpAngel

Quitting drinking soda helped me lose 5lbs in less than a month.  SERIOUSLY.  Combine that with the fact that it's unnecessary, incredibly unhealthy, and should be recognized as a treat and I'm perfectly FINE with paying a tax on it.  Maybe then my husband wouldn't drink several a day, lol.  I allow myself to have ONE a day and I think paying a tax on that would be fine.

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