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Patch Poll: Should We Tax Soda To Curb Obesity?

Recent studies suggest that drastic methods must be taken.

The big news coming out of last week's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C., was a public health report that predicts that if Americans keep getting heavier at the current rate, 42 percent of the population will be obese by 2030.

Childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled in the last 30 years, according to the CDC, which states that in 2008, a third of U.S. children were overweight or obese. The percentage of children 6 to 11 defined as obese rose from 7 percent in 1980 to almost 20 percent in 2008

And, America’s obesity problem may hinder the number of organ donors. The pool of potential living kidney donors may be shrinking because of the national obesity "epidemic," ABC News reported May 13. In a single-center study, almost a quarter of willing donors were initially excluded because they were too heavy, Dr. Mala Sachdeva of North Shore-LIJ Health System Transplant Center on Long Island, N.Y., and colleagues reported at the National Kidney Foundation meeting in New York. And only a small percentage of those patients were ultimately able to lose enough weight to donate a kidney, despite their initial motivation, Sachdeva said.

There are many ideas about how to fight this battle of the bulge. One is taxing soda, as Chicago is considering.

Is that a small step toward the solution? Take the poll and tell us what you think.

It's me... May 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Taxing soda?!! Rediculous! The CDC needs to look at the high fructose corn syrup and other trash that is going into foods. The less processed things you eat the better. But if they told you that, those big businesses wouldn't be so big! I'm not saying soda is all that healthy, but it's been around for a veryong time. I heard a doctor once say "Saying high fructose corn syrup is ok to use because it's from a plant is like saying cocaine is good for you because it's from a plant!"
Don Labriola May 20, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I'm sorry, I missed the announcement. When was it proven that sugared soft drinks are the main cause of obesity and weight gain? There are numerous temptations and food choices out there. Many obese and overweight have sworn off sugared drinks decades ago and still suffer the same problems. If taxed, most would pay the higher price for the high calorie options. If you're looking solely for a revenue source then congratulations, you've tapped into a gold mine, but don't perpetuate the half truth by announcing this as part of the battle against obesity in America. Next time you go into a fast food place or restaurant take a look at the soft drink choices. You'll find 4, 6, or 8 options for sugared drinks and usually 1 or 2 sugar free. Not much choice there. That's because consumers vote with their dollars, and consumers want either sugared drinks or more sugar free choices. Besides that, the corn industry in America would never let that happen. They would hire every high paid lobbyist and attorney from every corner of the U.S. to protest and delay any such action. And before anyone uses the curtailing of tobacco industry as an example just look at the number of people willing to pay the sin tax instead of quitting cigarettes. Fighting childhood obesity starts at a very young age. We need to teach our kids that just as its dangerous to run out into the street to retrieve a ball so it is with food and drink choices, look both ways first.
Scott May 20, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Soda? Are you kidding me? What about McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc., etc., etc. Oh wait! That's right. We're not allowed to touch those companies, or hold them at all harmless for the obesity issues in this country. In fact, the law protects them agianst such accusations and lawsuits. Fast food in general is the real enemy, and greatly responsible for the poor health and condition of our youth. Fast food should be illegal to sell to minors, just like cigarettes or liquor. However, with the money those corporations have, I don't see anything changing in the near future. Coca Cola was around long before fast food restaurants, and everyone seemed to be OK until they began using it to wash down Big Macs. Taxing soda will have no affect on the problem, since the problem is not soda. Washing down a Big Mac with water means you're still going to be fat and unhealthy.
Don Labriola May 20, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Scott makes some great points about the fast food industry and the long history of sugared soft drinks in America. When Coca Cola first came out of the soda shop and onto grocery shelves it was sold in 6 ounce bottles. At that time 6 ounces was considered a full serving, at about 60 calories. In order to increase market share the folks over at Pepsi decided to offer a 12 ounce bottle for the same price as a 6 ounce Coke. Thus began the cola wars, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kirsten May 20, 2012 at 08:04 PM
There are special taxes on alcohol and tobacco, has that decreased their usage? No, the people who want it are still buying it, just like they would with soda.

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