DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Taxing Soda

I gave up drinking soda February 2007. Well, occasionally I have a Root Beer. Giving up soda was the first step in trying to reduce the chemicals I put in my body. Diet soda has aspartame, which I avoid in all foods now in addition to Splenda and all its versions.

A few months ago, my office had a debate over what soda should be provided. I voted that the company save money and promote better health by not providing soda. Of course I was outnumbered. :)

At lunch today, I was reading a back issue of a nutrition newsletter we get at the office. The editor wrote about taxing soda to reduce consumption. It sounds like a good idea on the surface. The tax money would go to educational nutritional programs. Soft drinks are the only beverage or food that is directly related to obesity, but many people seem oblivious to the effect soda and other drinks have on their bodies. They would rather drink a diet soda with no nutritional value than milk, because the milk has calories. (Although I heard that pasteurized milk is chemically damaged, which may explain all the lactose problems people have, and unpasteurized milk is starting to become available. I mentioned this to some people and they freaked out that I would consider that as it is apparently *so* unsafe. More research needed.)

Anyway, I don't know that the tax on soda would work as suggested. The tax on tobacco products no longer goes to combat tobacco use or for the medical needs associated with that use. It is used as a funding mechanism for every proposition or earmark that comes along. So, while I think the soda tax is a great idea in theory, I think we have to educate instead of legislate to decrease this soda dependency in our culture.

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