Election 2016: Soda Meets the Political Arena

According to a fascinating Huffington Post article entitled “We Don’t Yet Know If Soda Taxes Will Make Us Healthier,” written by Joseph Erbentraut, soda will make an appearance on the ballots of select Californian and Coloradan voters on November 8, 2016. In particular, Albany, CA; Francisco, CA; Oakland, CA; and Boulder, CO will vote to either pass or reject enacting soda taxes within their respective cities. Both Berkeley, CA and Philadelphia, PA previously enacted soda taxes so if the four cities above were to also enact the taxes, they’d join a minority of American cities. As I’m sure you can imagine, the American Beverage Association trade group, which represents the U.S. soda industry, is leveraging its fiscal power to halt the proposed soda tax in its tracks. Within California for example, the organization is spending a pretty penny–approximately $19.3 million–in an attempt to curb the legislation. Advocates who support the soda tax legislation speculate that if the proposed soda taxes were to be enacted, a domino effect would transpire, galvanizing other American cities to do the same. While these advocates, as well as the World Health Organization, stand strong in the conviction that these legislative measures will both halt and reverse soda purchasing patterns, dissenters aren’t so sure. Dissenters found their arguments upon the findings of studies noting negligible consumption effects of enacting soda taxes.

In your opinion, is the enacting of soda taxes the metaphorical equivalent of substituting a Band-Aid for surgery, or is this proposed legislation addressing one of the root causes of the obesity epidemic? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,



4 thoughts on “Election 2016: Soda Meets the Political Arena

  1. Jen

    Hi Katie,
    I don’t think the tax will matter much. Let’s compare it to tobacco use. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion a year, including nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity at work. Despite these devastating numbers, people still smoke, and it is expensive. The statistics also prove that there is a higher % of smokers below the poverty line. Let’s now jump to diabetes. 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the U.S. population have diabetes. Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and a program of regular physical activity, losing excess weight, and taking medications. Blood glucose control reduces the risk of developing the eye, nerve, and kidney complications of diabetes.
    I guess my point is, that everyone knows that smoking and excess sugar can have devastating side effects; but they still smoke and don’t take care of their bodies. I don’t think a little extra cost is the answer, bigger reform is required.
    Thank you!

  2. devotionswolf

    I think people who drink soda will care less if it is being taxed.  I know many people who cannot quit soda.  I am happy I do not have that addiction.  I think it is a band aid with the taxes as it’s all about the money.

  3. Ellie

    Well Katie first of all I was not aware of a tax proposal on soda. To my way of thinking if people want something bad enough, they won’t give a thought to the tax!!! Yet again thanks for enlightening me on a subject I knew naught about.

  4. Pingback: In the Name of Health…17 Food Intentions to Set in the New Year – Katie Chiffer: Nutrition Advocate, Food Blogger, & Health Enthusiast

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