Sugar Should be Taxed to Discourage Unhealthy Habits

By Caroline Beatrice
On November 30, 2016

Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart, Flickr

Sugary drinks provide no health benefits, if anything they just offer health decline, and should be taxed. Sugar is most often linked to health related issues and obesity, yet many do not understand how detrimental it is to their bodies. Sugar stimulates the same parts of the brain as heroin and cocaine, leading it to have addictive tendencies and causing symptoms of withdrawal once weaned from the substance. By taxing these beverages, it could regulate the health of the nation by bringing down cases of type 2 diabetes and obesity. If nothing is done to change the overall health of the nation, it is predicted that the rates of obesity will rise to 70 million cases among children by 2025. Sugary beverages need to be taxed in order to turn people away from buying them, realizing sugar has underlying evil qualities and to push buyers to purchase water and healthier beverage options.

Food labeling has unfortunately not turned as many people away from unhealthy options as once hoped. The tax is supposed to trigger a signal that a certain product is unhealthy. If healthy foods are not taxed, yet unhealthy ones are, it will open the public eye to the harmful products they are purchasing and ingesting. The correlation between unhealthy eating habits and health problems, physically and mentally, are evident and need to be addressed.

Berkeley, Ca had implemented a tax on sugary beverages and the results showed that the tax served its purpose, and as a result people switched out their sugary beverages for healthier alternatives. A study by the New York Times revealed the outcomes of a sugar tax.

Its results are consistent with research from Mexico, which passed a nationwide soda tax in 2014. In that country, sugary drink sales fell by about 17 percent among the poorest households by the end of a year.”

This decrease in consumption of sugary beverages is a win for the health of everyone. This regulation is necessary in opening eyes that sugar is a secret killer when it comes to weight gain and fatigue. The rate of obesity among society is rising and taxes are the only way that people may recognize that what they are consuming is ruining them. Though I am an advocate for the tax, many argue that there will be no benefit from it.

David Studdert, a professor of law and medicine at Stanford University said, “The food and beverage industry has a central role to play in addressing this public health problem. But they also have stockholders.”

Studdert explains how the tax may not aid in making people healthier, but rather destroy the jobs of many and hurt revenue. Yet, as a health enthusiast, more people need to realize the dangers behind sugar and how unhealthy it is and how much it can deteriorate the human body. Implementing the tax is worth the risk and would undoubtedly promote healthier choices.

cbeatrice@ramapo.edu

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