Sweet Tax Could Curb Obesity Trend

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Sweet Tax Could Curb Obesity Trend

Remember that old Beatles song “Taxman”? The one where they sing about the government taxing your seat and taxing your feet? Well, the taxman’s back, and he’s here to tax something else…your soda pop.

At least that’s the proposal coming from two experts. Kelly Brownell of Yale University and New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden want a penny-per-ounce tax to be imposed on sugary drinks.

Since sodas are usually sold in 12-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles, a lot of cash could be raised, and those dollars used to help governments pay for obesity programs.

The pair, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, aren’t really interested in the money, though.

They’re into cutting consumption of soft drinks by penalizing users. After all, the imposition of taxes has been shown to reduce smoking. Taxing soda, sports drinks and  sugar sweetened beverages could reduce consumption by 10 percent or more, according to the proposal.

The soft drink industry is against the proposal, of course, and there’s little enthusiasm among voters in any state for a new tax – but in the long run, the taxman usually gets his way.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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