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Death By Soda?

February 18, 2012

Americans ingest 141 pounds of sugar each year.  We drink 13 billion gallons of soda per year, more than twice the amount of any other country.

According to a University of California team, new policies such as taxes are needed to control soaring consumption of sugar and sweeteners.  The claim is that sugar is as damaging and addictive as tobacco or alcohol and must be regulated.

Some are rallying behind the idea that a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages could help reduce the heavy burden of lifestyle diseases and saves lives.  Yes, death by soda.

But would it really?

I’ve been keeping my eye on the proposed legislation to tax products that contain sugar.  Sugar is one of the unhealthiest “foods.”  It is a processed man-made product and the body doesn’t know what to do with products that are not natural.  Sugar creates silent or chronic inflammation and sets people up for a whole host of illness and diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity (including faster aging) due to a cascade of events that are immediately created from the ingestion of it and cumulative effects are always down the road.  Soft drinks displace from the diet real foods with valuable health-promoting nutrients – foods that lower inflammation and promote optimal health and weight loss.

I completely agree that avoiding or at least minimizing sugar is a key to better health and will save lives.  But penalizing lifestyle behaviors, such as the use of sugar, is not addressing the core causes of less than optimal health and weight gain – education and self-responsibility.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn

Do you think the suggested penny-per-ounce will really stop someone from buying the soda?  I think not.  Sugar is everywhere and in almost everything. It is ultimately up to the individual to make healthy lifestyle choices.

What do you think?  Should we put a tax on soda?  Is it the government’s responsibility or the individuals?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2012 10:52 pm

    Thanks for putting this out there for us; soda is quite the killer, especially to anyone that consumes it regularly:))

    • February 19, 2012 12:36 am

      Thank you! Soda is a killer…you are so right. The inflammation it creates can’t necessarily be felt immediately, but the cumulative effects are huge.

    • December 13, 2012 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much Jon! I just now saw this..much appreciated. 🙂

  2. February 18, 2012 11:42 pm

    Reblogged this on From Gastric Band to Fitness and commented:
    Yet another excellent blog by Dr Lori … I agree, putting a tax on sugar won’t help, the high price of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs doesn’t seem to put people off! It has to be down to education and if the stupid governments continue to put out all the rubbish they do, how can the vast majority of people make the healthy choices? Also when the likes of Weight Watchers team up with ridiculous organisations like MacDonalds – what kind of message is that putting out there…. ok, rant over, I’ll be getting off my soap box now.. 😉

  3. February 19, 2012 12:44 am

    Lian…you are so right! Thank you very much! I totally agree with you in that their is such a lack of responsibility in the educating the public..and…adding a 1 cent tax will only hurt the poorest demographic.

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