When you have to choose between staying at home to use your Xbox and heading out for a gym workout, we know how hard it is for gadget heads like you to unplug. Let us read full story
Chicago’s rate of overweight and obese children is above the national average, and an alderman in Chicago wants to do something about it. George Cardenas (12th), chairman of the City Council’s Health Committee, proposed a soda tax this week at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. Cardenas announced that he was seeking the help of health and nutrition consultants to testify in a public hearing on the “effect of sugar beverages on obesity” and on the “implications of imposing higher sales taxes on such beverages.”
The alderman’s resolution calls for a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages. This comes a few weeks after public debate erupted around a call to regulate sugar like alcohol and tobacco.
Do soda taxes work?
No, a soda tax doesn’t lower obesity rates. According to the nonpartisan non-profit group STATS, states that have implemented soda taxes have shown that the taxes have little impact on obesity rates. Studies and anecdotal evidence both show that obesity rates decline as sugary beverage consumption declines, but there is no evidence that a tax on these beverages has caused a decrease in consumption. STATS notes that although obesity rates were not effected, soda taxes do bring in additional revenue to municipalities.
Why tax soda if it doesn’t work?
Many people who disapprove of “vice taxes” like the soda tax argue that the initiative is less about making citizens healthier and more about generating revenue. Opponents of soda tax specifically claim that the tax is unfair because it imposes an extra financial burden on poorer populations and minority populations, who statistically drink higher amounts of soda.
Opponents also argue that the soda tax is a slippery slope toward taxing other junk foods. Some think that other measures would be more effective, including reintroducing gym class into schools and encouraging the consumption of homemade healthy meals.
One of the big issues with soda tax revenue is that is not always slated for anti-obesity initiatives. For example, revenue from proposed soda taxes in Massachusetts would be slated to fund Commonwealth Care, the state’s subsidized health insurance plan.
Taxing soda is not the answer to lowering obesity rates.
Instead of taxing foods, we should be educating families and making sure that healthy foods are available in the food deserts of the inner cities. In the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago for example, 62% of children ages 2 – 18 were overweight. That problem will not be fixed by taxing the residents.
What do you think about the Chicago alderman’s proposed soda tax in Chicago?
Subscribe to the DailyBurn Life newsletter for exclusive healthy tips, articles, recipes and more.
What we talk about
- The Real Reasons You Shouldn't Eat After 7PM If You Want to Lose Weight 9586 view(s)
- Top 10 Best Health and Fitness Blogs You Don't Know About (Until Now) 5798 view(s)
- How to Prep Healthy Meals for the Week Ahead 4225 view(s)
- 5 Ways To Use Protein Powder When Shakes Get Boring 3429 view(s)
- Spring Clean Your Liver To Rev Up Your Metabolism 3096 view(s)