Talk of a “sugar tax” on soda has people all abuzz about whether it’s an American thing to financially punish people for drinking soda or not. I say go ahead and tax soda, and here are five good reasons why:
1, Soda is one more cause of the climate crisis. We have exported our carbon dioxide addiction all around the world. Just think of the costs in fuel to ship it—and the emissions produced. Maybe if we stop drinking so much of it, the appeal of American sodas will decline elsewhere. And at least in most other countries, the local soda is still made with real sugar!
2. Yeah, yeah, yeah…high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS is only cheaper than sugar because our government subsidizes the toxic, poisonous farming of corn in order to keep chemical companies (and maybe big tractor companies, too) in business. Plus, studies have shown that high-fructose corn syrup has mercury in it. So all those moms who think (incorrectly) that mercury in vaccines causes autism had better not be giving their kids soda!
3. Diet soda causes people to make poor decisions. According to a recent study, people who drink diet sodas think they are getting some energy, but their bodies still feel starved, so they kick into famine mode. Which basically means that the future doesn’t matter, all that matters is getting a next dose of fuel—hence, impulsive, short-term thinking. Amazing.
4. Soda isn’t really thirst quenching anyway. Did you ever really, really pay attention to how your mouth feels when you drink a soda? All that sugar kind of sucks out the liquids from your mouth and leaves a taste that is so icky you have to eat something to get rid of it. So not only are you getting empty calories from your drink, but you are urged to snack, too.
5. Fountain soda has fecal matter in it! It’s been a bad couple of weeks for soda in the news. Another study just this past week found that more than 40 percent of all fountain sodas have traces of fecal matter germs in them. It’s not in the ice, it’s in the soda itself. This was highly disappointing to me personally, since when I do have soda, I really like to have fountain soda with lots of ice in it to water it down and make it somewhat more thirst quenching. Now even that is off limits to me. I look at that cup of Coke with a lid and a straw and think, fecal matter? No thanks.
The only time I really bring soda into my house is when we are sick. There is nothing quite like a real coke or ginger ale to soothe an aching stomach. It’s medicine, really, and frankly, I think it should be treated as such. Think of all the plastic bottles, sugar, and toxic GMO corn we can keep out of the waste stream (and our bodies) if we stop drinking soda routinely.
Thirsty? Buy bottled water instead. YES, bottled water. It’s thirst quenching, has zero calories, and is damn good for you. Of course, you can fill your reusable water bottle with local tap water for free, instead of paying too much for water that’s been shipped and is probably municipal water anyway. And you should. But if you are at a gas station and need something to drink, pass over the soda and don’t feel guilty if a cold bottle of water hits the spot. (Just recycle that bottle.)
They’ve just added an extra tax to soda and candy this year here in Denmark (they love their taxes lol) Time will tell if it makes any difference. Though people keep telling the government that if they want their citizens to eat better, take off the 25% tax on food (yes, sales tax is 25% and it’s on everything!)
I am also now going to avoid fountain drinks altogether – ewwwww
Dentists have been trying to convince people to stop drinking soda for years. The action of taking sips of soda all day leads to tooth decay. (Hence the phrase, sip all day, get decay.) In 2010 in American people should not be suffering from dental decay, and avoiding soda is one way to achieve this.
As someone who normally drinks one soda per month, I found myself really enjoying a fountain Coke at the bagel shop yesterday and thinking that henceforth I’d make a point of having my occasional soda there. FECAL MATTER???!!! YUCK! (Kinda glad I didn’t know then wat i know now.)
If soft drink manufacturers could ever stop saying that their drinks add life, and bring us together as one people, and make you feel younger and happier and thinner then maybe it would be easier for us to wean ourselves (as a society) off of soda pop.
I do love a good Coke once in a while. The real stuff, from a glass bottle, made with sugar instead of HFCS. Passover is coming up and some stores will carry the kosher non-corn-sweetened Coke which is like an elixir. And have you ever seen the film “King Corn?”
I 100% support a tax on soda!
I agree with all the points made, except the the idea of taxing soft drinks. I do not drink soda or other sweetened drinks or smoke or gamble. I do drink some alcoholic beverages. My point is that we need to look at the long term consequences of “sin taxes” because governmental budgets are based on the amount of income that is expected to be generated by these taxes. If our desire is improved public health, then the government should not become dependent upon a tax which will produce less income as it achieves success in reducing the behaviors which are being taxed. Many people understand that in most organizations, govenmental or otherwise, it is necessary to spend all of this year’s budget or face a cutback next year. That’s why bureaucracy happens. Very little incentive to eliminate ones own job.
I think for all the rubbish in fizzy drinks, they should have the same health warnings as alcohol & cigarettes – and the same age guidelines.
Haven’t had a soda, fountain or otherwise in 25 years now. Hate the taste of all the sugar. Wouldn’t dare drink a diet soda, it eats the brain and may be a cause of Alzheimer’s due to the “false” sugar.
Maria, try drinking ginger tea for nausea. Use fresh ginger root if possible or anise seed tea.
Everyone should consider buying their own machine to make sparkling water. Saves a lot of money and time lugging bottles from the grocery store.
as a kid growing up in low income family i use to drink soda all day everyday. i just recently kicked the habit and havnt had a soda in years after learning its not really doing anything for you, it actually makes you more thirsty so not actually a thirst quencher. water is best thirst quencher and for every glass of soda you drink you have to drink an extra glass of water on top of that. if i need a little sugar i drink 100% fruit juice. or if i need some caffiene to wake up i drink coffee or tea. soda is also reason for childhood obesity. i support extra tax on soda
Thanks so much for your article, this is my first visit to your site. Please keep up the good work!
Thanks Maria! I gave up a lifetime habit of Diet Coke December 6th, 2008 and I have felt so good since (and I have lost 20lbs)! I think Soda is flat out the worst thing people can do to themselves and I am always looking for more reasons to share with my readers, friends, and family! I just reposted this (with credits given of course)! Thank you!
I’m so glad all of you are enjoying my posts and fighting the good fight against soda. It’s so hard with kids because they beg and beg and beg! If I must, I make “soda” out of seltzer water and juice.
I don’t drink soda, and don’t care if it’s taxed, but does the government have to get their fingers into everything? If the tax is going to be used for some worthwhile cause I guess I could see it, but I still say it’s our choice, and the government needs to leave the decision to us whether we want to poison ourself with soda pop !
Don’t move to Washington State (assuming you don’t already live here) we are about to get taxed for everything, maybe even breathing!
Jennifer, pretty soon your state will be like Denmark, Canada and Switzerland. My husband always says that if the Swiss could tax the air that you breathe, they would!
Yep! On the table is bottled water, candy, soda, and now they don’t just want to have our nice ALMOST 10% sales tax on goods, but make it 11% and now tax services as well. OUCH! We don;t pay income tax but we will, soon, I am sure.
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