Death by Soda?

Death by Soda?

Posted by Lori Shemek; February 18, 2012

Americans ingest 141 pounds of sugar each year.  We drink 13 billion gallons of soda per year, more than twice the amount of any other country. According to a University of California team, new policies such as taxes are needed to control soaring consumption of sugar and sweeteners.  The claim is that sugar is as damaging and addictive as tobacco or alcohol and must be regulated.

Some are rallying behind the idea that a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages could help reduce the heavy burden of lifestyle diseases and saves lives. Yes, death by soda. But would it really?

I’ve been keeping my eye on the proposed legislation to tax products that contain sugar. Sugar is one of the unhealthiest “foods.” It is a processed man-made product and the body doesn’t know what to do with products that are not natural. Sugar creates silent or chronic inflammation and sets people up for a whole host of illness and diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity (including faster aging) due to a cascade of events that are immediately created from the ingestion of it and cumulative effects are always down the road.

Soft drinks displace from the diet real foods with valuable health-promoting nutrients – foods that lower inflammation and promote optimal health and weight loss. I completely agree that avoiding or at least minimizing sugar is a key to better health and will save lives. But penalizing lifestyle behaviors, such as the use of sugar, is not addressing the core causes of less than optimal health and weight gain – education and self-responsibility.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
– Jim Rohn

Do you think the suggested penny-per-ounce will really stop someone from buying the soda? I think not. Sugar is everywhere and in almost everything. It is ultimately up to the individual to make healthy lifestyle choices. What do you think?

Should we put a tax on soda? Is it the government’s responsibility or the individuals?