Now this is an interesting thought:
Just as the cigarette tax has helped reduce the number of smokers and smoking-related deaths, a tax on highly caloric, non-nutritional beverages can help reduce the prevalence of obesity.
To address the obesity crisis, we need more than just a surcharge on soda. We need to take junk food out of our schools. We need to encourage our children to exercise more. And we need to increase the availability of healthy food in underserved communities.
But to make serious progress in this effort, we need to reduce the consumption of high-calorie drinks like nondiet soda among children and adults.
I understand that New Yorkers may not like paying a surcharge for their favorite drinks. But surely it’s a small price to pay for our children’s health.
Read the entire article here
What do you think? Is this a good idea? Would it make people healthier?
Edit: I’ve thought about this today, and I have mixed feelings. Obviously it is better to consume less empty calories, but to legislate it certainly seems wrong.The thing that I realized is that it’s just like the seat belt law. It’s trying to force people to take care of themselves. Yes, it’s a great idea, but if so, why won’t we simply do it without government coercion?
It’s ironic, really. Once upon a time, we expected people to take care of themselves voluntarily or deal with the consequences. Now it seems that we assume that people aren’t smart enough, or responsible enough, or self-controlled enough to do that. And we certainly no longer expect people to deal with the consequences of their own poor decisions–remember the guy who sued McDonald’s because it made him fat? (And any number of similar ridiculous lawsuits)
Why? Have we become a nation of children, who can no longer take responsibility for our own bodies? Has the government become our papa?