Thursday, December 18, 2008

Taxing Sugary Drinks

I just read this article from CNN that discusses how the Governor of NY would like to impose a tax on soft drinks and juice drinks with less than 70% juice.

I kind of like the idea because I do agree that childhood obesity is something to have concern about, but I wonder if you can take taxing things like this too far... is there a slippery slope of taxing things that are unhealthy? or is this similar to extra taxes on cigarettes that have lessened the amount of smoking?

I also wonder if this would mean that would tax diet sodas or sweet tea (maybe they don't have sweet tea in NY?)



Dana Enzor said...

I think they should only add extra tax to those things that are not what they say they are (ex: Juice drinks that only contain a small percentage of actual juice). Otherwise, I think you know what you're getting into.

My question: Why should government benefit by increasing taxes on items considered "unhealthy"? Shouldn't we use that money to promote "healthy" items like produce?

Also, a side note: some people actually lose weight if they drink sodas because of the caffiene. And if we're worried about obesity, adding tax to sodas might make those people stop buying as much; therefore, increasing the likelyhood that those people who lose weight by drinking soda, would actually gain weight due to the tax.

Amy said...

My biggest concern with this issue is the question of who decides what is "unhealthy." There are so many different diets out there, and countless numbers of philosophies on what a "healthy" lifestyle looks like. If this tax moves forward, the government would be deciding what is "healthy" and what is not. It would assert that there is one way that is better than all the other ideas out there. Also, everyone is different. The article I read stated that regular sodas would be taxed, but diet sodas would not. I personally believe that while natural sugar does contain calories that it is "healthier" than artificial sweeteners, and my body does not respond well to artificial sweeteners, they make me physically ill. So, for me, regular is better (although I don't think there is anything good for you in soda period..i am using it for the sake of argument)

I think it is all a ploy for more government control over our lives and a way to make money.

I was actually thinking about this the other day when I discovered something very interesting. There is this fruit/vegtable juice that I really like, and it is all juice. Well the other day I had a bottle and it made me sick, I realized that it was the same thing, only the "light" version. My sister had purchased the "light" because it made sense to her that it would be healthier, as we are drilled by society that fat free and light optiona are better for us. It turns out that the regular version of the product is 100% fruit and vegetable juice, with no added sugar, just the sugar from the fruit. The light version is the regular cut in half, with water and artificial sweeteners added. Less calories? yes. But how is this really better for you?