Slapping taxes on sugar, not a solution to obesity

By Caroline Young |

Most people’s eyes widen when I tell them I have never consumed a Twinkie or a corn dog in my lifetime. Although I have not eaten meat since I was 12 years old and honestly just don’t care for soda, I see absurdity in the fact that the government thinks they can treat American citizens like infants.

Medical experts and health advocates have been pushing the sugar taxes for years. Last year, the Obama administration proposed a plan banning candy and sweetened beverages from schools, according to The New York Times.

I do not eat a lot of crap, including candy and soda, but I know I love the hell out of some Reese’s cups and peanut butter M ‘n’ M’s. I occasionally indulge in sugar whenever I feel the craving and who are they to tell me or anyone else that’s wrong?

And it seems these “experts” do not know exactly what they are doing because they think placing tax on things like non-diet sodas will help decrease the obesity rates.

In reality, the diet sodas and the artificial “sugar” is what can really make people fat, according to Popular Science Magazine.

I do understand obesity is a growing issue, especially within our country’s border. Let’s get real big boys (and girls) up on Capitol Hill–people who fit the obesity status are most likely hittin’ up Mickey D’s on top of that soda and candy. Not to mention a lot of them do not even own a pair of tennis shoes.

In fact, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute reported the main reasons so many people become obese include inactive lifestyles in children and adults, oversized food portions, family genes, certain medications, emotional issues and lack of sleep.

There is a plethora of other ways the government could approach obesity reductions than taking the easy way out by taxing.

For starters, physical education should be amplified for all ages. When I volunteered at a local elementary school with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I was in awe of the lack of physical activity for students. And I am positive that they would have preferred more of it if they were given the opportunity.

I credit my mother’s healthy eating and cooking for my own habits. But if kids are not taught at home by their parents, schools need to teach them that eating an unreasonable amount of high sugar and high fat foods is not only going to make them feel crappy, but it is also going to make them look crappy. And eventually, if they are not already, they will become overweight — putting their health in jeopardy for God knows how long, maybe their whole lives.

Martin Binks, director of behavioral health and research director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, agrees with my stance on the issue, according to ABC News.

“It seems that focusing discouraging single food classes is not the answer to such a multifaceted issue,” Binks said.

And to me, ramping up taxes on sugary products is almost like pointing your finger at the general population, a chastisement for having a sweet tooth.

And Susan Neely, president and CEO for the American Beverage Association said American citizens view the sugar taxations as an “over-reach” and feel the government should have no say it what to eat or drink, reported by ABC News.

In other words, if we, as Americans, are actually going to care about our bodies and budgets, we can put our big girl (or boy) pants on and control our own diets, including our sugar intake.

So, what good is the government doing using our country’s precious time and money to dictate how much sugar passes through people’s lips? From the looks of it, not a whole lot more than cracking their whip in an unnecessary place.

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