I read on , that some states were considering taxing sugar sweetened beverages. New York State is one of the first states to consider a tax of about one penny per ounce on high-calorie sweetened beverages.
And while many complain that such taxes impede on our social liberties, sugar sweetened beverages have a huge impact on the obesity epidemic in this country and therefore, the individual’s cost of health care. In fact, the average American drinks more than 50 gallons of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages each year. That’s equal to 39 pounds of sugar. Can you imagine if soda were replaced with water? Our health care system would be in an entirely different place right now.
, “[t]he science [is] clear and conclusive: soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are leading contributors to the nation’s runaway obesity epidemic.”
Additionally, the New York State budget office estimates such a tax would raise $1 billion a year when fully in effect, and reduce consumption by 15 percent, . Earnings would go to stave off health services cuts.
Taxes Like These Are a Plus For Nutrition Professionals
You’ll never find a nutritionist calling soda a desirable dietary ingredient. It is not a food, nor a basic necessity. In fact, the people likely to benefit most from a soda tax that discourages consumption are those who find it hardest to make ends meet. These are the people who can least afford to waste hard-earned dollars on empty calories that undermine their health, .
From a nutritional perspective, there’s just not enough time in the day to eat and drink empty calories. That is, food and drink that provide energy (calories) but without any nutrient density. Optimal health requires so many nutrients already and drinking liquefied sugar is just wasting space for those nutrients in the body. If clients really miss the bubbles in soda, recommend seltzer water with lemon juice, berries, or cucumber slices added to the mix. You could also recommend Kombucha, it’s a fermented tea that’s fizzy and it’s loaded with probiotics that detoxify the body.
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