"the soda tax will cause jobs to be lost in the soda industry"
my response: It's not as if people will consume less beverage and food - what they don't spend on soda, they'll spend on something else. Those industries (food and beverage OTHER than soda) would experience an inverse growth.
Here's another option - soda companies can offer a healthier product.
"People shouldn't be punished for choosing to drink soda (through this proposed tax)"
My response: Diabetes and other health issues associated with obesity are the default "punishment" at present.
"soda isn't the only cause of obesity (therefore we shouldn't take this route to solve the problem"
My response: So what route should we take? Seems to me we should start with one of the top causes?
A measured yes to the soda tax, although I agree with a lot of the comments already made
1) The difficulty of differentiating between what is "healthy" and what is "unhealthy". Where is the cutoff point - 40% real juice, calories per ounce, etc?
2) Simply removing soda from your diet will not make you healthier. Exercise, sleeping well, eating well, seeing your doctor on a regular basis; a healthy lifestyle requires effort and education.
In the end, in addition to a soda tax, I believe there needs to be a comprehensive public health plan to help New Yorkers make better decisions about their health. Yes, it is personal responsibility issue but it is a public good issue too. Rather we have more folks on the workforce than on social security disability for diabetes, obesity, heart problems, etc.
Let's start in schools and start promoting nutrition.
a big NO to any soda tax I'm not a soda drinker or any sugary drink as a matter of fact.
NYC needs to stop nickle and diming it's residence. Where does it stop are thye going to put additional tax on bread, how about regular milk verus skim, hey why not tax beef because that has more fat.... JUST STOP
Albany will use anyting to get more money from us and tell us it is for our benefit.
FACT: even eating healthy food will make your fat!
Leaving aside the argument over governments’ right to dictate personal choices, taxing sodas is not likely to reduce obesity. The main driver of high obesity rates is a lack of physical activity. As long as people don’t get enough exercise, excess calories – no matter what the source – will keep Americans putting on extra pounds.
Obesity is a serious and complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution. No one food or beverage is responsible for this multi-factorial problem; and simply placing a tax on specific foods or beverages such as soda will not solve it. Nutrition education, regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet are essential to a leading a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Contrary to this article, the majority of science shows that calorie balance is the key to both losing and maintaining a healthy weight. This is reaffirmed by both a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and simple common sense. As a nutrition professional, I’m working to combat obesity and enhance healthy lifestyles every day. Taxing soft drinks misses the mark and just won’t make people healthier.
Brilliantly said Naseem.
The government needs to focus on bringing healthy foods at reasonable prices - especially to poorer area such as those where there are only bodegas to shop at - so that our citizens choices will have to be better than sugar-laden foods and cigarettes. Dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish. The cost of obtaining these foods and even worse them being accessible is not an viable option for too many in our city.
Therefore, we will be paying for their health care if in fact they live long enough from not dying from the affects of diabetes that equates to strokes, heart attacks, blindness, amputations, and dialysis.
I heard Dr. Daines today. He is cloaking the issue. As a doctor he should know that high fructose corn syrup and sugar are not the same. They are not metabolized the same. The body does not recognize corn syrup as a sugar and thus metabolizes corn syrup in the liver. That is how you get fatty liver disease, typically found in obese people and ducks. Dr. Daines repeated used high fructose corn syrup and sugary drinks in the same sentence. If in deed the drinks were sugary, i.e. made with sugar we would not have some of the obesity issues that we have. As for childhood obesity, it is not the "sugary drinks" but the lack of movement in children.
There's more than too much sugar in soda that should be banned - aspartame for starters - it is a known carcinogen. I agree too with the listener who posted concern about high-fructose corn syrup. I'm for banning these harmful substances in our food much more so than penalizing people who don't understand what they are putting into their bodies.
Bloomberg did a great job with transfats and getting calories listed. We should sic him on making it illegal to put these poisons in sugary drinks.
that girli guess this is what amy is talking abouthttp://www.bendhomes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090611/NEWS0107/906110311/1096/PODCASTS
to make it clearer when you drink a soda the body may not know it just took in 150 calories (of course it did so the calories are added to your intake, just like anything u ate.
It is not the soda. It's Play Station. The number one cause of child obesity is Play Station. Video games. No exercise. Millions and millions of hours of thumb motion.
But, they are a HUGE sponsor of ALL media and are usually not chastised in the media (which they own / or advertise in much of)
How about bicycle powered video games? You have to pedal to earn minutes? That would fix it.
dr david in NYC
amy--"the body doesn't register calorie intake from liquids"?? explain how that works, because the last time i checked, ALL calories are "registered".
This is basically a money grab masquerading as a health care initiative. These ideas always seem to arise whenever there are budget problems. The politicians don't have an appetite for cutting anything and until I see some effort to rein in spending I'm not in favor of ANYBODY's taxes getting raised.
The solution for budget problems always seem to be more taxes on "other" people... the increased taxes never seem to affect those proposing the tax. Those counting on the revenue had better be careful because behaviors might change... For example when I renew my car registration next month my special plates are going bye-bye, thanks to the increased fees.
A soda tax is one of the best initiatives to help start reducing obesity levels. But only if the money goes back into food education, and other initiatives like high-school salad bars, and vegetable stands particularly in poor neighbourhoods.
Good luck battling the giant corporations and certain politicians who are "looking out for their constituents."
Organic apple juice made by Whole Foods (365 Organic), 8 ounce serving = 120 calories and 24 grams of sugar!!!! 100% natural but almost no nutritional value. Coca-Cola has 12 grams of sugar for 8 ounces (half the sugar!!!!). Remember, corn syrup and sugar both equally turn into fat if you don’t burn it off. You can’t dispute these numbers.
Instead of taxing soda for everyone, how about teaching parents with fat kids about nutrition and learn how to say “no” to their over sugared kids when they cry for sugar snacks and let the rest of us that don’t have an eating problem enjoy our sugar without another tax?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!! Why must I pay extra for your inability to control your sugar intake?
This might be a good concern but the motivation is completely misguided, closing a budget. As others stated why not tax all unhealthy foods/behaviors, and why is behavior a concern of the government anyway.If there was any "real" concern about health, diet sodas should be exposed for the fraud they are, they cause you to drink more and consume more calories. Soda is a horrible liquid to ingest and in this pathetically activity void world most live in it's a deadly combination.
I support a tax on soda, but it should include "juice drinks" (often sweetened w/concentrated apple or grape juice, which has as many calories as sugar or corn syrup w/little in the way of nutrients) & other noncarbonated drinks. I know someone who told me she lost a lot of weight after she substituted water for the orange juice she'd been drinking every day.
I've also been hearing from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (cspinet.org; they even have a link to a calculator that figures how much income a state can raise w/a soda tax!) that sugar & other kinds of non-diet sweeteners are no better for you than high-fructose corn syrup.
The other factor is that the body doesn't register calorie intake from liquids, so we don't eat less after a high-calorie drink the way we do after a high-calorie food. This applies just as much to juices & other noncarbonated drinks as to soda.
Soda is horrible stuff, but you can't stop people from drinking what they like. The problem is the market is tilted toward it. We're subsidizing these companies for their $.99 2 liters of soda.
What if a 12 oz bottle of Coke was priced at $2. I think we'd find out how much people really like it. Let the free market decide.
We have to stop the farm subsidies that keep these beverages and other items artificially cheap. We are already paying taxes to subsidy obesity.
I think it should be limited to drinks with high fructose corn syrup. Haven't there recently been studies that suggest that all other factors being equal, individuals who consume high fructose corn syrup gain more weight?
Otherwise I'm in support- it's just a few cents, and those whose pocketbooks that it would arguably affect the most (the lowest class) have perhaps the most to gain out of drinking less sodas.
In regards to the individual who called in to voice his opposition and stated that "obesity will always be a problem"- why should this be true? It certainly hasn't always been a problem in the past...
Why would anyone resist something that will be good for them from a health standpoint? They might even save money during these turbulent times.
I agree completely with the guest. Unhealthy processed foods are subsidized to be cheaper. It is cheaper to eat unhealthy in this country. Soda versus juice or more natural simple sugars? Why pay $3 for 2 quarts of juice when you can pay $99 for 2 liters of soda? It's not just about sugar in soda, it's about our whole food system. Let's make processed foods most expensive and subsidize the raw materials--potatoes, fruits, whole grains and then see how people eat.
Hahaha! Twitter makes you FAT!
I drink beer everyday and I'm quite happy to pay tax on it. I doubt it reduces my intake, tho.
If you want to drink soda excessively, you should get taxed on that too. It is much much better than taxing flour and milk, etc. I do think that placing a "sin tax" on pop and junk food could make people think more about these things as unhealthy habits like alcohol and tobacco. It's not good for you, STOP PRETENDING.
If it is just that you don't want to pay ANY TAXES, then maybe you will enjoy not having any roads, police, or schools as well...
I agree with this. Look at the ads and commercials. They target the young, and minorities. These drinks are garbage. The same goes for McDonalds, which advertises to minorities, instead of advocating learning to eat properly and cook for oneself.
Look at the eating habits of the young on the trains, in the morning. Soda for breakfast!!.
there is also the somewhat "addictive" quality of sugared products that trigger a compulsive nature to continue to consume the product until it is finished,,, the same action was what nicotine causes in cigarettes, and that is deliberately enhanced as well.
Please, when talking about "obesity and diabetes", PLEASE be so good as to say, "Type 2 diabetes". Should my child, living with Type 1, have to be lumped in to this issue?
Restaurants and stores aren't going to try to maintain separate prices for sugared and artificially sweetened sodas. It's just not logistically convenient. For instance, a lot of fast food restaurants have self-serve soda. You give them $1.29, they give you a cup, and you fill it. These restaurants will just have to raise the price for the cup regardless of what you fill it with. So ultimately, this will raise prices on diet soda as well.
I think it's kind of a nanny state thing, taxing stuff like this, and I'm pretty sick of that. Why not just tax people's weight?
Why not institute additional ways to reduce the price of juice, milk, and other healthy drinks so they are more in line with the cheap cost of sodas?
This tax is a good idea. This is a much better thing to focus on than mandating reducing salt. This tax makes so much sense. There is no nutritional value in soda, so a tax would hopefully limit the amount that people consume. Drink NYC H2O instead, while it is still free!
Having lived among the urban poor in Brooklyn for 3 years, I just don’t think that raising the price of sugar will make people consume less of it – it will just make people poorer. At the grocery store, a box of mac and cheese (which will feed 2 people for dinner) is $1, while one orange is $1. A bottle of 100% juice is $4.50, while a 2-liter bottle of soda is 99 cents. If you make the mac and cheese $1.50 or the bottle of soda $1.50, people are still going to buy them b/c they’re cheaper than healthy food, and they maximize calories for dollars. Their buying habits will stay the same - they'll just be poorer for it.
I think the solution here is not to make unhealthy food more expensive, but to make healthy food more accessible and less expensive.
I think this tax should also include diet drinks as well. It has been suggested that artificial sweeteners actually stimulate appetite and contribute to the obesity problem. We tax alcohol and tobacco, why not soda as well?
Where is the evidence that this tax will make people choose alternative beverages? Do you honestly believe that an added 12 cents on a can of soda is going to keep people from drinking it? 12 cents . . . does this mean anything to a culture that buys homes they can't afford, flat screen TVs on credit, etc? It's cheaper to drink water, but people still choose soda and sweetened drinks because they like the taste and the sugar and caffiene high. The people who talked about stopping subsidies to corn farmers are on the right track. What about doing a better job of teaching health/nutrition in schools?This is about generating revenue--which is fine--let's just not pretend it's going to change people's behavior.
Yeah, breakfast cereal should be taxed too. But it's already so expensive. I'm not sure how much it would have to cost to get people to stop buying it.
If our elected officials insist on passing laws where the stated goal is to "change behaviors" (i.e. soda tax), then shouldn't we start electing behavioral scientists as our representatives so that these new laws are at least effective?
John from NYC - Corruption is happening now. These companies get huge Gov't subsidies on our dime because they buy off politicians.
@  Voter from Brooklyn: Also - diet soda does not lead to obesity or weight gain because it has a "higher sweetness index." Diet soda allegedly leads to obesity or weight gain because we drink it knowing there are zero calories and, subconsciously, justify an extra slice of pizza because we've "saved" the calories on that diet soda.
Yes, yes, yes, yes to a soda tax -- a no brainer!
Have the law makers been to a bodega in the Bronx? Ending obesity would be better served making healthier drinks available to the kids instead of taxing the only drinks that are available.
I'm pretty sure Hawaiian Punch would be taxed as it is less than 70% juice.
Apple juice with _no added sugar_ still has a phenomenal amount of sugar.
How about taxing all those awful cereals for kids? Nothing but sugar there.
And what about evidence that _diet_ drinks are just as unhealthy?
Either Leonard Lopate or Brian Lehrer had someone on who said there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that high-fructose corn syrup is any different from regular cane sugar.
Soda is disgusting. And it's more disgusting that people just drink it by the bucket load. Sure, tax it. If you're taxing cigarettes, you might as well. We need to tax something. But a ten cent tax isn't going to do anything. A bucket of soda at a movie is already 5 bucks. If people pay for that, I'm not sure a tax is going to discourage anything.
Making exceptions for diet sodas makes no sense. Some say diet sodas can be worse because your body thinks it is getting its sugar fix when it is not. How about having the government subsidize fresh juices - make them cheaper, vs. making soda more expensive? Right now sodas are so much cheaper because the government subsidizes high fructose corn syrup.
don't forget when soda drinkers turn 65 we all pay for their health issues. BUT start with ending the corn subsitities. no more HFCS
Ridiculous. Physician heal thyself or better yet do your job. Drug resistant tuberculosis is a bigger problem right now. Smoke and mirrors to hide the true health crisis. Taxes, taxes, taxes. Enough! Seems to be the only answer from our local, state and federal governments these days. Cut the waste, the corruption, the fraud, and the ridiculus overpay going to government employees and even their oversized pensions. That's where you'll find your money to do some good.
I've also been saying that there should be a .10 (10 cents) tax on all FAST FOOD orders of $3 or more... this would bring in a HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY as well!
Please have your guest explain the following conflicts/problems with taxing sugared sodas:1.Studies seem to indicate “diet” sodas are as much a problem as sugared sodas because they have a higher sweetness index and can increase the craving for sweet foodstuffs. Does this not shift the obesity claim from sugared sodas to other junk food.2.As mentioned above, will sugar and corn syrup added drinks like artificially and naturally flavored fruit drink products, non-alcoholic mixers, pre-sugared drink mixes, and bottled coffee beverages be added.3.What will be done to protect naturally sugar-high unadulterated drinks like grape, pineapple, orange, and pear juices and nectars. 4.Will sugared “waters” be included.5.Will monies be used solely for health expenses and not pet projects, pensions and other waste.
I just don't see small merchants (delis, corner store, etc.) charging different prices for sugared and unsweetened or diet drinks. They'll probably just split the difference (the amount of the tax), and charge the same for everything.
Yes to soda tax. And Yes to higher tobacco taxes, gas taxes, carbon taxes -- anything that will deter New Yorkers' obsession with driving.
Does the Commissioner of Health has anything to do with insurers? The health insurers are the number one obstacle to health in New York.
Just withdraw the gov't subsidies to sugar and corn farmers, and subject sugar importation to a higher tariff. There are safer substitutes, such as Splenda, but it isn't subsidized. Subsidized carbohydrates is the core reason for the obesity epidemic.
I think it makes more sense to just stop subsidizing high fructose corn syrup. The source of a lot of the problems with cheaply available high-sugar snacks and drinks comes from this.If they could just take those subsidies and put it toward the health care plan, it would stop a lot of the problems that are occurring in the first place.
If you're going to go after soda, where do you draw the line? Why not tax all sugary drinks, like Hawaiian Punch, lemonade, iced tea, etc? And how "healthy" is diet soda, or will diet soda be exempt?
Maybe the Native Americans will start selling soda at a discounted price (it would be exempt from taxes like cigarettes), or I can drive to NJ, spend my money on gas and tolls (a different form of taxation), to get my soda fix.
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