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    Default CDC Chief: Soda Tax Could Combat Obesity

    You already got my stoggies. Leave my Mt Dew alone!!!!!!!!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/07....shtml?tag=pop


    (AP)While Democrats await the results of bipartisan negotiations over health care reform in the Senate Finance Committee, one of the proposals put before the committee received a nod of approval from health officials today: taxing soda.

    The committee -- the last congressional panel expected to produce its own recommendations for health care reform -- listened to arguments earlier this year both for and against imposing a three-cent tax on sodas as well as other sugary drinks, including energy and sports drinks like Gatorade.
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    Soda has already been taxed. The rise in the price of corn due to the hopes and dreams of ethanol usage has effectively raised the price of the syrup mix up about 30% over the past couple of years.

    Let's just wait until someone figures out how to run an engine on potatoes and 'tax' french fries instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    I'm all for this.

    I've stopped brown soda for the most part and I can feel a difference. Plus it helps save your teeth!!

    little known fact..an apple has the same amount of caffiene as 2 cups of coffee..no need for that soda jolt when you have fruit!!
    i'm allergic to apples, though
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    I'm all for this.

    I've stopped brown soda for the most part and I can feel a difference. Plus it helps save your teeth!!

    little known fact..an apple has the same amount of caffiene as 2 cups of coffee..no need for that soda jolt when you have fruit!!
    You're 'for' the government legislating behavior by imposing financial penalties? Seriously?

    If you don't want to drink soda brother, don't drink it. Do we really need big brother slobbering at the trough in yet another way, sucking a few more dollars every payday from the average american?

    I don't think so. That regular folks see this kind of federal intrusion as 'good' just blows me away. The federal government doesn't give a damn about your teeth or sugar intake. They just want your money dude.
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    I hear you Boone, I'm not a big fan of taxes either but I'll have to disagree. I think the reasoning on this is pretty similar to the taxes on tobacco. For years public health folks tried everything imaginable to curb smoking including education, behavior modification programs, scare tactics, etc. However what they found is that nothing worked as well as simply increasing the cost of tobacco by taxing it. This also (in theory anyway) had the side benefit of helping to pay for the additional health expenses incurred by smokers.

    Obesity is costing us a ton in lives lost and healthcare dollars. If increasing the cost of soft drinks results in lower consumption and more $$ to pay for healthcare reform, I see that as a win-win. Besides, "sin taxes" are nothing new. Alcohol and gambling for example, are taxed pretty heavily for no other reason than revenue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yusuf06 View Post
    I hear you Boone, I'm not a big fan of taxes either but I'll have to disagree. I think the reasoning on this is pretty similar to the taxes on tobacco. For years public health folks tried everything imaginable to curb smoking including education, behavior modification programs, scare tactics, etc. However what they found is that nothing worked as well as simply increasing the cost of tobacco by taxing it. This also (in theory anyway) had the side benefit of helping to pay for the additional health expenses incurred by smokers.

    Obesity is costing us a ton in lives lost and healthcare dollars. If increasing the cost of soft drinks results in lower consumption and more $$ to pay for healthcare reform, I see that as a win-win. Besides, "sin taxes" are nothing new. Alcohol and gambling for example, are taxed pretty heavily for no other reason than revenue.
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    I generally don't take staunch positions or defend universal beliefs to the death, such as 'taxes are evil'. Some taxes are necessary and serve the common good. Tobacco use, and even alcohol use are directly and indisputably tied to chronic health problems. But come on - we're taxing SUGAR here? As a health risk? How about carbohydrates - they result in a lot of fat. There's bread too. Vegetable oil. Where does that line of thinking end?

    Not buying it although at least that is a coherent argument

    I'd also challenge anyone to demonstrate taxing a commodity, at any level, has resulted in a significant decline in its use. So even if that is the rationale driving this kind of effort, it's not based in reality.
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    I guess I can sum my belief up pretty simply. It's not the government's job to save me from myself. I think a quick review of any of the writings of our Founding Fathers establishes that pretty quickly. Where a citizen's personal actions potentially harm other citizens, that's different. I think it's a stretch of galactic proportions for our government to suggest we need their help to save us from the ravaging dangers of sugar.

    If we're being honest - their efforts here have nothing to do with their concern for my personal health. It's a money-grab, plain and simple.
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    Does anyone really think this money would go toward health care?
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    A 3 cent additional tax on a soda wouldn't discourage one person from drinking it.

    The sun causes skin cancer. Maybe we should tax people by the darkness of their tan.

    Besides, soda doesn't cause obesity, people do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    Where is the line? Tobacco tax ok but soda isnt?

    To me they are the same and have just as many negatives as each other. Diabetes, cancer...In the end they are all killers.

    Obesity is a major problem in this country and the world period. Something needs to be done about it and its obvious that people themselves are not going to do it. So if people arent willing to help themselves and they are just passing on the same sick behavior to their kids should we sit back and do nothing?

    Maybe Im just rambling but those are my thoughts...I hear yours too though. I dont like being "told" what to do by anyone either...
    I really don't think a soda tax would curtail people drinking soda. Soda's already crazy expensive, especially in places like CA where a 12-pack costs 60 cents more with the CRV. A 12-year old in a 7-11 will not notice that much of a difference paying 1.79 for a soda that was previously 1.59.

    In a perfect world, the parents would limit the amount of sodas their children have daily and weekly. Some fruit juices have just as much sugar as soda, yet we are not calling for them to be taxed. The government should not be involved in this.

    Now, I fully support a luxury tax....jewelry, high-end cars, gambling, etc. And, personally, I don't care if alcohol and tobacco are taxed highly. But when it comes to soda- which many people do not abuse- the government needs to butt out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    the same can be said about alcohol and tobacco. they dont actually cause us to get cancer...we do. but theyre taxed too.
    I see alcohol and tobacco as more of "luxury" items. They are drugs. While a lot of soda has caffeine, so does coffee. Should coffee be taxed? No, since it doesn't have sugar? So then we'll tax fruit juice, which has lots of sugar! No, since it doesn't have caffeine?

    Round and round....
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    It's all about revenue and control.......the "caring" is a joke to make everybody feel better.

    and they need something to help pay for that extra 2 billion for the "cash for clunkers" program that has already ran out of money.

    BTW in most states soda and coffee, tea etc. is already taxed as with sales taxes and food taxes......this would just be another tax added to those.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post

    and Im sorry but "not many people abuse soda" is just not true.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coca-Cola_Company
    just drinking soda does not mean it's abuse.

    And a lot of fruit juices are included under the Coca-Cola name, not just sodas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    I guess I am not clear what is luxury and what isnt. doesnt luxury mean "Something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort."? Isnt that exactly what soda is too? You dont need it to survive.

    Its a matter of perspective but why can we tax alcohol and smokes and not soda? They cause the same problems but one is just more socially acceptable. You dont see soda drinkers shoved outside and in to a corner so it must not be that bad. But fact is that it is that bad...
    but what is so bad about soda? Seriously....is it the chemicals? The sugar? The caffeine? The calories?

    If it's the chemicals, let's tax food that has chemicals in it- that's almost everything that's packaged.

    If it's sugar, let's tax everything with sugar- including sugar! It went over really well when the government decided to tax sugar last time.

    If it's caffeine....all coffee and chocolate needs to be taxed.

    If it's calories.... all drinks with 130 or more calories need to be taxed. That includes most fruit drinks, milk, oj, etc.

    I don't think it's any of those...it's when people drink too much of it. Just like too much of anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    I can make the same argument for cigarettes but you dont have a problem taxing that.

    Why not? (seriously)
    eh, probably because I don't use them and I've always hated cigarettes because my dad has been smoking his entire life and he's in horrible health because of it.

    And I feel that smoking is a lifestyle choice and it's an actual drug. And that it has been shown that it affects people negatively directly. And soda, when consumed a few times a week, does not carry the same risks.

    My vice? Tanning on the beach. If the gov. decided to tax the hell out of spf 8 and below, but keep the spf 50 really cheap, I would understand that. Spf 6 is my "cigarette". Kind of a weird analogy, but the one that makes the most sense.

    Just like I think that tanning beds should be taxed the crap out of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSr619 View Post
    the same can be said about alcohol and tobacco. they dont actually cause us to get cancer...we do. but theyre taxed too.
    Apples to oranges.

    Your smoking and drinking can be hazardous to my health. My drinking soda has no impact on you.
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    Let's say that soda is evil incarnate, is the major contributor to the downfall of the human species, and that it doesn't like babies or pets:

    How is a three penny tax per serving (I guess) going to have one iota of impact on consumption?

    Sounds like a bad plan poorly executed. Not a surprise if elected governmental officials are involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    I'd also challenge anyone to demonstrate taxing a commodity, at any level, has resulted in a significant decline in its use. So even if that is the rationale driving this kind of effort, it's not based in reality.
    I'll take you up on that challenge.

    Tobacco Use: Increasing Price to Decrease Demand

    Background

    Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States (12). In addition to causing more than 440,000 deaths annually, tobacco results in over $175 billion in health-related economic losses (11). Numerous measures have been employed to successfully reduce demand for tobacco products, reduce smoking prevalence, limit youth initiation, and increase cessation rates. Such measures include increasing prices by imposing higher cigarette taxes, restrictions on public smoking, providing anti-tobacco advertising, and mandating warning labels (19). However, of all intervention methods, price has been shown to be the single most effective means of altering tobacco use behavior (19).

    Quote Originally Posted by MissU28 View Post
    I see alcohol and tobacco as more of "luxury" items. They are drugs. While a lot of soda has caffeine, so does coffee. Should coffee be taxed? No, since it doesn't have sugar? So then we'll tax fruit juice, which has lots of sugar! No, since it doesn't have caffeine?

    Round and round....
    You're actually onto something here MissU. IMHO, it really isn't soda per se, but rather sugars in general that I think are the real culprit. OTOH, there is some evidence that drinking sugary beverages is worse than eating sugars in foods for a variety of reasons.

    Therefore, I'd see this tax as merely a stopgap along the way to doing what really needs to be done to curb the problem, i.e. eliminating sugar and corn subsidies that artificially cheapen sugars and make them a cheap and thus attractive option to add to processed foods to make them taste like, well, food. The later is an option that I don't think any of us conservatives would argue against as it amounts to little more than corporate welfare. And you know how we conservatives hate welfare.

    Please feel free to read any or all of the following for more background on what I've said above:
    Effects of Soft Drink Consumption on Nutrition and Health: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (...meaning they reviewed the data from many different studies)
    Fructose, weight gain, and the insulin resistance syndrome
    Soft Drink Consumption and Risk of Developing Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and the Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged Adults in the Community


    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    You're 'for' the government legislating behavior by imposing financial penalties? Seriously?

    If you don't want to drink soda brother, don't drink it. Do we really need big brother slobbering at the trough in yet another way, sucking a few more dollars every payday from the average american?

    I don't think so. That regular folks see this kind of federal intrusion as 'good' just blows me away. The federal government doesn't give a damn about your teeth or sugar intake. They just want your money dude.
    While it feels good to say all the usual things about personal responsibility, it doesn't hold much weight here. How so? Well, the insurance industry has priced premiums for coverage based on risk for years. In this case, one can think of the tax as a "premium" for consuming sugar. Besides, I'm of the mind that your freedom to do self destructive things should generally end at the point where it ends up costing me money. In this case the obesity epidemic has gotten to the point where it's costing those of us who make a decent effort to not eat ourselves into oblivion more than our fair share.
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    If obesity is the problem, why doesn't our government just tax fat people? Assign them a BMI target, measure them twice a year at the revenuers office, and charge them a premium for every percent over the established averages.

    I drink soda, don't smoke, drink very moderately, am in very good physical condition, and have no medical issues. I should get a tax break, shouldn't I?
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