If Charles Dickens were a soda connoisseur, he would say that today is the worst of times for the once beloved, currently embattled soft drink industry. Across the board, researchers and experts are suggesting that both sugary and non-sweetened soft drinks can riddle you with a murderer’s row of maladies, including, but not limited to, heart attacks, cancer, poor dental health, and to REALLY make you feel self-conscious, a bulging waistline.
If that isn’t enough, soda brands you probably never drank are disappearing and hundreds of Mountain Dews are spilling onto the streets of Seattle, and that’s not even meant to honour a fallen homie, homie.
All of this, of course, plays a supporting role in New York City Mayor (some say babysitter) Michael Bloomberg’s fizzled fatwa, his holy war against soda. He just announced his intentions to ban XL-sized soft drinks and it turns out he’s not alone in his crusade to rid the continental 50 of its sugary scourge.
This week the American Medical Association is set to consider a proposal that supports soda taxes as one way to fight obesity and says that if taxes are levied, they should be used to fund anit-obesity programs. The Los Angeles Times reports. AMA council reports note that sugary drinks make up 46 per cent of the added sugar American’s consume instead of nutrient-rich foods.
They also estimate that a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks would lead to a 5 per cent decrease in the amount of critically overweight Americans and save the country $17 billion in health care costs over the next 10 years.
They do warn, however, that the levies must be earmarked for the right efforts in order to be effective. If the excise taxes go towards anti-obesity campaigns, AMA studies indicate that their positive effects could be greatly enhanced.
Today, a soda excise is assigned in 35 U.S. states, at an average rate of 5.2 per cent, though these duties, the AMA says, are not meant to affect consumption or promote good health. AMA researchers also say that wholesalers soften the blow by buying in bulk and purchasing cheaper brands.
Weigh in below in the comments section so we can hear what you think about the government taxing sodas. And please, pour out a Mountain Dew for the brave cans we lost in Seattle.
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