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Would soda taxes improve public health?

You know it’s probably not the best choice to reach for that sugary soft drink instead of a water bottle or glass of skim milk. But it gives you a boost and is just so refreshing.

What if your state or local government decided to try to add a tax to your favorite sweetened beverage to get you to cut down or even cut out your consumption in the name of better health?

That is just what is happening around the country. At least 12 states, including New York, California and Kansas, and cities such as Philadelphia are considering a tax on sugared drinks; Colorado and Chicago have already enacted such a tax.

Lawmakers see a double benefit to a “soda tax,” as it’s commonly called. The money raised would help close growing budget gaps faced by states and municipalities and would fund health care and education programs. At the same time, the tax is aimed at confronting the nation’s soaring obesity problem. Two-thirds of Americans, including one in three children, are overweight or obese, and health care costs for obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, are rapidly rising.

“Sin” taxes on products considered physically or morally harmful have been used successfully to discourage habits such as smoking, and legislators are hoping that a soda tax will similarly curb soft drink consumption. In New York State and Philadelphia, adding a tax by the ounce is under consideration, a proposal that many believe will greatly curtail soft drink purchases. While a penny or two per ounce tax may not sound high, it translates into 12 to 24 cents extra for a can of soda and 68 cents to $1.36 for a 2-liter bottle.

Why single out sugary drinks?

Consumption of these beverages has more than doubled in the last 50 years, making them a key source of excess calories in the American diet. Unlike other sweet items, sugared drinks don’t make you feel full and actually trigger hunger and overeating.

A recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine also suggests that sweet-drink consumption is a behavior that can be modified through the wallet. The study shows that a rise in soda costs in range of the proposed taxes in New York and Philadelphia directly related to lower calorie intake (124 calories per day), weight loss (2.34 pounds per year) and reduced risk for heart disease.

Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity sees a potential drop of 23 percent in consumption and $50 billion in health care savings over the next 10 years with a penny per ounce soda tax. In addition, sweet beverages like soda are particularly popular among the poor, who cannot afford a healthful diet and tend to overload on sugar drinks. A soda tax might reduce the especially high obesity and related disease levels of lower income groups.

Opponents argue that such a tax discriminates against the poor. They also contend that soda taxes will not change behavior. In New York State and Philadelphia, the taxes would be placed on soda producers and retailers, respectively, and would not be added to the consumer’s bill at checkout. This means that beverage companies and stores could “hide” the tax from consumers. For example, to avoid having a big price difference between sugared and diet versions of a soft drink, stores may spread the cost of the tax across other products, and consumers would not be discouraged from buying sweet drinks. Opponents believe it simplistic to suggest a tax would solve the complex problem of obesity.And they are leery of the rise of the “food police,” believing it is not government’s place to dictate what people eat or drink.

The beverage industry is lobbying hard to prevent soda taxes. Last year, through a massive spending campaign, it successfully killed the idea of a federal soda tax to fund health care reform. The beverage industry says its initiative with Bill Clinton’s foundation that has cut 88 percent of calories in drinks delivered to school since 2004 and its plans to prominently display nutrition information as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign are more effective at discouraging soda overconsumption than a tax.

What do you think?

Would a soda tax cut down on sweet-drink consumption in a significant way? Would it improve public health? Is it just a gimmick to raise taxes? Is it discriminatory? Does it interfere with your freedom of choice? Would a soda tax cause you to drink fewer sugary beverages? Join the discussion!
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Comments
11/4/2012
Minnesota
Zach
Wayzata High School
I agree with the idea of taxing soda. There would be positive effects either way. If the consumer decides to purchase the soft drink, he/she will be putting more money into the state which will be turned back around and put into health programs. If the consumer decides to skip the soda and go with a nice refreshing bottle of water, he/she will be promoting their own health.

10/17/2012
Ledyard
Rachel D
Ledyard High School
I believe having a tax on soda is a ridiculous idea. Although having the tax will decrease the sweet-drink intake increasingly, people are still going to buy the same amount. Other ways of stopping Americans fatty products intakes should be approached; such as putting water out more than soda. Taxing soda is only going to make soda companies and citizens mad.

10/16/2012
Ct
Ben M
Galante
I believe charging tax on soda is a good idea. With the economy a big issue in the United States, I think Americans would think twice about spending the extra cents on an item that repays you in bad health. Also, America is already very unhealthy and adding tax to a popular item that causes this problem would be a good first step to becoming a healthier problem.

10/13/2012
CT
Julianna
Galante
I believe that charging tax on soda is a wonderful idea. Although, as stated, it will not bring in as much revenue to the soda companies, it will increase the overall health of American citizens by reducing their intake of calories and sugar. The United Sates is currently very unhealthy and I think that this tax would greatly help this growing problem.

4/20/2012
Texas
Kayla
Bush Middle School
I think that the soda tax is a great idea. While it will not raise as much revenue as suggested, I do believe that it will bring down caloric and sugar intake.

8/20/2010

Cindy
Buckingham, Califonia
Yes, soda taxes will improve public health. For the people that are not really big fans of soda(me) it wouldn't be a really big deal. In the other hand for those whom love soda it would not be so great. All in all it would have a positive effect on the people and it would make all us human beings healthier. For those whom are obssesed with soda, a huge amount of money would be lost in something that just harms you(us).

5/31/2010

duc c
nimitz, tx
It is known that tobacco is a health concern, and as such, there has been many taxes imposed on tobacco to cut the motivation to smoke. Everybody (minus the tobacco industry) is apparently fine with this tax, yet when we apply the same ideas and methodology to sodas, another major health concern, it becomes a violation of our freedom of choice and what not. I believe that not only should sodas be taxed, but any product which has more than a certain amount of high fructose corn syrup should be taxed. America has a bad track record of health concerns: high blood pressure, obesity, kidney disease --the list goes on and on. If we do not take an initiative to fix this problem, then we may be facing the next major public health concern since Rob Schneider was allowed on TV in '88.

5/28/2010

Nabila
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
A soda tax may not cut down on sweet-drink consumption too significantly, but it is a step towards awareness of sugar's negative consequences, as the revenue from the taxes would help fund health care and education programs. Depending on the elasticity of demand for sugary drinks, calorie intake from the consumption of those drinks may be reduced or stay consistent, which correlates with obesity rates, with the levied tax. I don't believe it is a gimmick to raise taxes, but rather a way to alert the American population of the worsening health issues around the country. The tax is not discriminatory in the sense that people across all social classes drink sugary drinks and would therefore pay the price. While programs such as those of Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama have lowered the intake of calories through information and regulation, I believe the tax would provide an additional incentive to stay away from sodas. I'm not much of a soda drinker, so the tax wouldn't affect my consumption as much as it would that of a daily drinker. The government is trying to curb the obesity rate and other health related issues with the tax and though this might hinder one's freedom of choice, it is necessary for the greater good.

5/28/2010

Joji
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
Whenever someone goes to the vending machine for a drink they can either choose a soda for .50 cents or go for a bottle of water which is probably a dollar. With the price of the water bottle, which is what is recommended to drink, one can purchase two sodas which would seem like it was more bang for the buck. If they plan on increasing the prices on soft drinks and sodas they should in turn lower the price for the healthier alternatives such as water. If they were to do that then more people would choose the cheaper and healthier alternative when they are faced on choosing a beverage. The soda tax will improve the health of the nation but other steps like making the healthier food easier to acquire is also necessary.

5/27/2010

Ana I
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
Although soda taxes may not significantly drop sweet-drink consumption, it is definitely a step in the right direction because it is addressing a dire problem that we have in our nation. As people see the price of these beverages rising, they will begin to look for other drink alternatives that may be healthier. Even though this tactic might be seen as “discriminatory”, I honestly don't believe that it is a bad thing or just a gimmick to raise taxes. Yes, cities and states are inundated in budget deficits and are searching desperately to find ways to increase revenue, but underlying this whole ordeal is the basic quality of health in our nation. Choice isn't limited either, because if people are desperate enough to drink nothing but soda, they will continue buying them no matter what the cost. A soda tax wouldn't drop my intake of soda because I hardly drink it anyway, but I think it wouldn't be bad if others started drinking less as well. Even if the whole nation doesn't adopt a soda tax, legislators and beverage suppliers could consider lowering the cost of other healthy alternatives if they are truly interested in making our nation healthier.

5/26/2010

Telma
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
A soda tax would not be significant enough to really cut down on sweet-drink consumption. Persons who already buy sodas full of caffeine and sugars regularly will do anything to keep on buying these products. A higher tax on sodas could reduce the amount of milk a low-income family buys. It is impossible to teach Americans to eat healthier by raising prices. The only significant way of preventing obesity in America is through education and a very strong willpower. Obesity is a problem that should be solved by raising awareness and taking individual initiative in making healthier choices. This soda tax does not interfere with a consumer's freedom of choice, since there are many other alternatives available and the consumer has a way to obtain the product, there will only be a higher cost. But this tax is discriminatory because it is specifically limited to sodas and it excludes juices with high sugars as well as other “unhealthy” liquids, thus affecting only a section of our population that has a particular preference for sodas.

5/26/2010

Vita A
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
Vices will always be hard to quit, smokers don't stop buying their cigarettes and drinkers don't stop buying beer even when their addicting substance get pricey. These taxes will only give the illusion that things will get better. Kids get their way in the grocery stores as soon as they start throwing a temper tantrum, and teenagers don't care if a soda bottle cost their parents a couple more bucks. I honestly wouldn't stop drinking soda if they raised their taxes. It's my choice of drink and if I want to indulge myself in something energy boosting I'm going to do it. I think it's ridiculous that all of a sudden health is important, this should have started a long time ago. Instead of making taxes for soda, the government should consider making P.E. mandatory in every state, and offering each student an healthy option. We need to learn how to DECIDE what is healthy and what is not. It shouldn't be crammed down our thoughts with childish taxes. How about the government smartens up and makes it mandatory for elementary school to teach what vegetables actually are. Simple and effective things will accomplish great things, it should start, however, by our being able to decide and want to.

5/25/2010

Rosaura
Nimitz High School, TX
Such as "sin" taxes has discouraged smoking, soda taxes may discourage the consumption of soda. However, I don't think there will be a significant improvement in public health, especially if most of the soda consumption is within the poor. Because not only will the taxes become a burden to the disadvantaged but they will probably replace the soda with other cheaper sugary drinks such as Kool-Aid or juices with hardly any nutritional value and high quantities of sugar. Also those that enjoy to drink soda will keep drinking soda, because the benefit of drinking soda overweights the cost of it. For example, although Coca-Cola prices have increased, I still purchase Coca-Cola, because I enjoy drinking it. However, just because I like to consume soda doesn't mean I'm unhealthy. I'm a healthy person as confirmed by my pediatrician. I always eat balanced diets, but my only indulgence is Coke. Therefore, it's the responsibility of each individual to take care of their own health. Although soda contributes to obesity, so does fast-food and junk food, like chips and cookies, so will there be a tax increase on these products as well? or was the soda tax just a gimmick to raise taxes? It is only logical that legislatures begin to tax other obesity contributors if they are really concerned about public health, but I believe if that is the case a tax increase is not the best solution. They should exercise other options that will not leave the poor even more destitute.

5/25/2010

Genesis
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
While placing a tax on soda may improve public health by a successful margin, it's not the only thing that should be considered by the government nor by the public. The fact of the matter is that some people, whether the price of soda rises to exponential levels or not, will still continue to consume soda if their bodies depend on it. What government then, should focus on, is better informing people about their health and the effect that drinking soda has on them. A better informed society is a healthier society. Also, if you're going to tax soda, why not also tax fast-food chains and the manufacturers of fatty snacks? Personally, it takes two to battle obesity: personal will and some type of incentive (in this case, a government tax). Therefore, our personal freedom of choice isn't infringed upon; it's simply guided toward a better decision that helps not only our wallet, but our health. That being said, I still believe educating the public about other forms of healthy consumption, the negative effects of drinking soda in copious amounts, and managing a healthy diet would be much more beneficial and informative than starting another argument about taxes.

5/25/2010

Mauricio V.
Nimitz HS, Irving/TX
I think that soda taxes will improve public health. Soda isn’t nutritious. It doesn’t provide us with necessary vitamins and minerals without offsetting them with loads of sugar. Taxing soda would be like taxing cigarettes and alcohol because it would be taxing something unhealthy. Soda isn’t being banned so those who love it can still enjoy it, but it would limit soda sales and its consumption. Unless taxes are raised incredibly high, people will still buy soda at the same rate as before because they don’t see a few cents as a huge problem for a sweet tooth satisfying drink. I don’t drink much soda because water quenches my thirst without drinking a tablespoon of sugar.

5/24/2010

Silvana T
Nimitz HS, Irving/Tx
The benefits of a soda tax outweigh the costs. In America today, obesity is a very big issue; claiming 2/3 of Americans, including 1 in 3 children. Partly to blame for this phenomena is the predominance of sugared drinks in the American diet; being not only a source of empty calories, but also a known trigger of hunger and overeating. The government has successfully used “sin” taxes in the past to discourage unhealthy habits such as smoking, so it is only feasible that such measures should be taken to curb soft drink consumption today. Recent evidence from the Archives of Internal Medicine has verified that “sweet-drink consumption is a behavior that can be modified through the wallet;” therefore, the government should have no qualms in implementing this legislative action. The outlook of a penny per ounce soda tax is bright according to the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, as it estimates a potential drop of 23 % in consumption of soda and a $50 billion savings in health care over the next 10 years. The double benefit to a “soda tax” is that the tax revenue would be used to pay state debts and to fund health care and education programs. I frankly don’t see a problem with a soda tax, perhaps I am just beset by all its advantages. I believe that there will not be any real harm done, as those determined to continue drinking soft drinks will continuously shell out the extra nickels and others will do without.

5/24/2010

Jocelyn
Nimitz , Irving/Texas
If taxes were raised on sodas, the consumption of sodas would slowly decrease. With the decrease of sodas hopefully public health would improve significantly. I personally do not think it’s a neither discrimination nor interference with our freedom of choice. We still have the freedom to drink sodas, but now we would think about drinking it because of its high taxes. I do not drink sodas at the moment, because it’s bad for my health and I don’t want to be obese in the future.

5/23/2010

Chris R.
Nimitz HS, Irving, TX
While I too realize that cutting back on soft drink consumption will have a positive effect in overall health, I don't believe that a soda tax is the right way to go. The only feasible way of enacting this "sin tax" is to tax the producers, who will turn around and raise the price of all other goods in the store. By not centralizing the cost of the tax on the good in question, the entire purpose of the tax is obliterated. It isn't the government's job to determine whether the citizens guzzle the sodas that are contributing to the American obesity problem. Educate them if you wish, but leave the final decision to them. As the poor are the primary consumers of copious quantities of soda, the tax will hurt them most. And, unfortunately, these are the people who can least afford this tax. It will become a burden for them. Moreover, the government, by virtue of becoming health police is in part infringing on our freedom of choice. We still have a choice to purchase a soda if we want, but that doesn't mean that the choice to do so will be a good one. The cost of the decision will possibly outweigh the benefit, which may ultimately cause us to forfeit our choice to buy the soda. If I want a Dr. Pepper, I'm going to drink one. The only thing that will affect my desire to drink soda is my personal opinion about it. Either that, or an insanely expensive tax that will infringe upon my fredom of choice regarding said soda. Let us make our own decisions. Teach us about better alternatives. But don't impose some outrageously high or half-thought-out tax on us because you haven't taken the time to come up with a real plan.

5/23/2010

Minh D
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
A soda tax would not cut down on sweet-drink consumption in a significant way: it is an attempt to justify deficits and taxing. No definite solution and clear set of results is evident with the idea of taxing. The reason one drinks is that they are addicted, like those to cigarettes. I can honestly say that I tried quitting diet soda (still soda, if this fight for normal soda is lost today, who is to say my diet won’t be affected) and coffee, but caffeine and that superman-feeling after consumption is just something. Taxing doesn’t improve public health; conscientious educating and effort by those who consider soda not so great and who are addicted to it improves health. This is a gimmick, and though it doesn’t look discriminatory, the bracket of income that consumes fat foods and soda is usually the impoverished/lower…this isn’t an aspect of the issue I care for. Everyone is affected, not just the poor or the “minorities”. I think it interferes with my freedom of choice: coffee and club soda is just not the same. Like a cigarette addict, I would drink sugary beverages just the same, destroying my wallet even further…just with a lot more disdain for the government. Taxes aren’t the answer: we are.

5/21/2010

Jessica P 5th pd
NEHS, Phila PA
Placing a tax on soda or decafinated beverages would not stop people from buying them, in fact some people may be tempted to but more just in spite of the taxes. If people want to drink, soda/caffinated beverages them they will. If the nation wants to improve our health then it should make healthy food more appealing. Healthy food doesn't mean advertising McDonald's and other fast food places. More fruits and vegatables should be advertised on tv and on the internet where most people spend most of their time. If they were to advertise more healthy foods then the city could make a tax on soda and it wouldn't matter.

5/20/2010

Edgar N.
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
Though less consumption of sodas would most definitely improve public health, a soda tax is the not the right way to go about it. Any person that wants a soda could just go to a cheap fast food restaurant, order a small cup and refill as much as he or she would like. This tax would most likely not be added directly to the customers; instead, it would placed on the providers of sodas, and they could hide the tax by distributing it across all of their products, effectively ruining the purpose of the tax. The government is not the health police, and it is up to each individual person to decide if he or she would like to consume the high fructose corn syrup laden soft drinks that contribute enormously to the American obesity problem. It can educate about the dangers and problems with drinking sodas as much as they would like to, but when they start creating taxes that aren’t well planned out, it just seems like a gimmick to raise taxes to me. On a discriminatory basis, the largest consumers of sodas are poor people, and they are the people that can least afford to pay the tax. This tax will just be a burden to them. By assuming a position of a regulator, the government, on a very small scale, is interfering with our freedom of choice. Do you still have the option to buy they soda? Of course you do, but that doesn’t change the fact that the costs might outweigh the benefits, which would ultimately affect your decision making, such as schools focusing on standardized testing out of the fear of getting their funding pulled or Ronald Reagen who limit the amount of movies he acted in so the progressive income tax would not take away a large chunk of his money; these groups or people had a “choice.” It’s just that choice would not benefit them, which I’m afraid would happen with a soda tax. On a personal basis, a soda tax would not cause me to consume less soda. If I want a soda, I’m going to drink one. My personal view on soda is what will ultimately affect my decision on whether or not to drink it, unless some burdensome tax comes along, raising the price of soda to a level where it costs me to much to want to drink one, affecting my freedom of choice.

5/20/2010

Thomas
Nimitz HS, Irving, Tx
While it is true that if people stopped consuming sodas then public health would improve, the tax on sodas is focused more toward the producer of the drink not the consumer so the consumers would not be as effected. Then of course while government is allowed to ensure that food products are safe the government should not be allowed to determine what to eat of drink. As far as who is affected by this tax it is truely impossible to know without further research.

5/14/2010

Helga I.
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, Pa
Many people always try to look on the negative side of this simple plan. I think that maybe there are no malicious sides to these soda taxes and the high rates of obesity are sweeping the United States. This will ultimately decrease the number of people purchasing sweetened beverages but what really makes me wonder is what tax are we waiting for next. I think that a tax placed on sweetened beverages will definitly make people stop over- drinking these beverages but it would have been nice to at least ask for the opinion of the public who is effected. Some ways would be to survey students which are the primary consumers!

5/14/2010

Helga I.
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, Pa
Many people always try to look on the negative side of this simple plan. I think that maybe there are no malicious sides to these soda taxes and the high rates of obesity are sweeping the United States. This will ultimately decrease the number of people purchasing sweetened beverages but what really makes me wonder is what tax are we waiting for next. I think that a tax placed on sweetened beverages will definitly make people stop over- drinking these beverages but it would have been nice to at least ask for the opinion of the public who is effected. Some ways would be to survey students which are the primary consumers!

5/13/2010

Matthew B.
NEHS, Phila. PA
No, this is one of the most pointless scams ever. I believe that this is just a scapgoat to something much bigger like hmmm i dont know, maybe FAST FOOD PLACES! How about we band production of thier fattiest foods or at least tax those items higher then the rest. And how about this, i buy a soda from a fast food place and they tax me< but what about free refills? that is a loophole that even a six year old can get round. why not band soda altogether but oh thats right we are talking about the same gov't that couldnt get a bottle of water into new orleans in three weeks. They need to devise ways of getting money because we all know that soda tax was not set into place to get this country to lose weight, the gov't could care less about that especially since we still produced corn syrup and apply it 89% of all american products.

5/11/2010

Katie
WHRHS, NJ
I do not think a soda tax will lower the amounts of soda people drink in the united states. If someone wants to drink/buy a soda the tax is not going to stop them. there is tax when you go to a fast food restaurant but people still go to them. if someone really wants something a tax is not going to stop them from buying it.

5/11/2010

Britney
Warren Hills High School, Washington, NJ
I think that putting a tax on soda would certainly not work. Personally, I would not stop drinking soda. Even though it may prevent a few people from drinking soda it would not be enough to make a clear impact. I also think that it would be very hard to pass due to the unconstitutionally of this. There has to be another way to improve public health besides raising the cost of soda.

5/11/2010

Britney
Warren Hills High School, Washington, NJ
I think that putting a tax on soda would certainly not work. Personally, I would not stop drinking soda. Even though it may prevent a few people from drinking soda it would not be enough to make a clear impact. I also think that it would be very hard to pass due to the unconstitutionally of this. There has to be another way to improve public health besides raising the cost of soda.

5/11/2010

Britney
Warren Hills High School, Washington, NJ
I think that putting a tax on soda would certainly not work. Personally, I would not stop drinking soda. Even though it may prevent a few people from drinking soda it would not be enough to make a clear impact. I also think that it would be very hard to pass due to the unconstitutionally of this. There has to be another way to improve public health besides raising the cost of soda.

5/6/2010

Amanda
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
I do not believe that raising the prices of sodas will cut-down on the sweet-drink consumption. When people want a soda... they want a soda. They will adjust to the new prices, just as they have throughout history, I mean soda has not been $1.69 for forever. I think that drinking less soda does help lower the fat intake and etc. Because I myself have not drank soda for about four months and I can already see a difference. I think that it is a gimmick and they just want more money. It does interfere with our freedom of choice because we have the right to choose what we want to drink, of course if you are under twenty-one you are not allowed to drink alcohol. I do not drink soda so I do not have to worry about it, but yes depending on the prices and the amount of money I had, it may have some affect.

5/4/2010

Ryan D. FrankPd.5
NEHS, Philadelphia, PA
I don't enjoy hearing people yap about this making people healthier and how wonderful the government is for doing this. The logical and most likely reason the government did this is to get more money from the poeple. They know, just as well as everyone else does, that the american people LOVE their soda. Just like tobacco smokers LOVE their cigarettes.. despite incredibly high prices, people will always buy them because they're addicted. The same thing goes for sugar drinks, which can cause addiction aswell. Maybe not as many people will purchase it, thats understandable, but a great number of americans will continue to purchase sugary drinks. Sure, less sugary drinks will help our health, but do people seriously think soda wont be purchased? In my opinon its a win-lose situation. The government wins by getting revenue they werent receiving before and the people lose by having to spend more of their hard earned money. Also, I believe the "healthy" aspect is just a way to sugar-coat this whole situation.

5/3/2010

Ana A
Nimitz High School, Irving/TX
A soda tax would help to cut down on sweet-drink consumption among some Americans, it is likely that a significant amount of Americans would stop drinking sweet drinks because of this tax. Everyone is responsible for their own health, so if they choose to drink sweet drinks is their life and health. This proposed tax is a way of helping people who have problems with obesity, diabetes, and also to help the economy. To help Americans be healthier. I believe it would improve public health because a tax means a higher price which means a lot of people will stop consuming sodas because sodas will be more expensive, not significantly expensive, but there will still be people who would still buy sodas not matter the price. If people stop drinking soft drinks they will probably see a change in their health, a positive change, obesity will decrease among Americans. I don't believe is a gimmick to raise taxes, it is not discriminatory because there are other products that we can buy that are cheaper and healthier. We have the right to decide what kind of drinks we want to consume, even if the sodas get more expensive the people that like to drink soda would sacrifice an extra penny or so just to get that it. I believe it would help in some ways, but not matter what tax they impose on these drinks they will still people that will still buy soft drinks.

5/3/2010

Ernesto
Nimitz High School, Irving/Tx
I am an athlete who is going to college because of soccer. Normally i do not drink sodas, so if they were to tax them then it wouldn't effect me one bit. Honestly sodas are not healthy and in the end, if it caused people to reduce their coke consumption then this tax would be doing a good. Also, i do not believe that this tax is discriminatory and ofcourse its going to have an effect with your "freedom of choice." I wish I could buy a new pair of J's every every time they came out but the truth is that i can't. I do not have the $150 you need to purchase them, so im stuck wearing some old nikes that i got 2 years ago!!!!

5/1/2010

Karina
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
I believe that a tax on sodas would effect the amount of sodas we drink, to an extent. Yes, people are going to lower their consumption, but we are so dependable on these drinks that a penny per ounce tax wouldn't make a difference. The amount of obesity cokes are responsible for is not debatable, eating certain types of food aggregate more to the amount of obesity than drinking cokes. Individually we decide what we eat and drink, the government is not responsible for luring us to certain types of eating habits. Their “responsibility” is to teach the public about what's good and bad, but it is up to us to decide. Why find excuses to tax the common people? It is obvious that the government is trying to obtain more money, next step they are going to start taxing candy, chips, anything that is “unhealthy.” I know that obesity is very common in our country, but there has to be better ways to control the obesity index than by making excuses to tax.

5/1/2010

Francecsca L.
Northeast high- magnet 7th pd, philadelphia,pa
I support the government taxing sugary drinks. Its a ashame when i see little kids asking for soda. Those little kids do not know what life that soda may cuase in the future. Making sugary drinks cost more will make people buy the 100% juice or milk because its cheaper. America needs a change and the government stepping in to help them be a little bit healthier is a good idea. I personally do not drink soda because juice taste better and know I am doing better for my body. All the people who are upset about the tax on sugary beverages needs to stop because they probably have health issues. They should thank the government for trying to help their health.

4/30/2010

Traci B.
Northeast High School, Philadelphia PA.
I can not speak for the rest of the world but it sure would help me drink healthier. Sugary soft drinks are already higher than what I am uses to so, if there even higher I might not ever buy other soft drink again. I’m pretty sure that that is how it will turn out for the rest of the world. But on the other hand some people may just adjust to the soda taxes. For example people may just buy more of it at one time so that it does not seem like so much to pay for. Or they may not care at all about the soda tax and just continue to buy soda like they always have. Someone pointed out the fact that when cigarettes went up in price, that did not stop people from smoking. And what happened was people who smoked, brought the big packs of cigarettes so they could have them at hand and wouldn’t have to keep buying cigarettes everyday. But I hope the soda tax will help a lot of people drink healthier and does not turn out like the cigarettes tax.

4/29/2010

AleynaP3
LMS, Diamond Bar , CA
In my opinion I do not think that soda taxes would improve public health.Although many people including me would think taxing soda is petty rediculous it wouldn't cause people to just stop drinking it. I do not think the government/state would see a big change in the publics health. The only change I think that would happen is the state getting more income. Also I do not think this would be discriminatory because it affects everyone and the government is just trying to improve the health of others which would help everyone out in the future. Although I think they are coming on to the situation at the wrong angle,because simply highering the taxes of soda is not going to cause a big change.I don't believe this interfers with out freedom because it is our choice to drink soda or not we could simply stop if we did not want to pay higher. Which is the plan, but still up to us.

4/28/2010

DevinP5
Lorbeer Middle School, Diamond Bar, California
Despite the possible tax raise on sugary soft drinks, I do not think that a simple tax raise will decrease the level of obesity in this nation. Although this tax would increase the amount paid on many people's easiest source of a drink, I do not think that people would stop drinking them. Many people drink many cups of soda a month; I do not think that something as little as a tax raise will decrease their consumption of sugary soft drinks. I do, however, think that it will succeed in stopping some people from drinking these soft drinks, due to the way the economy is at the moment. Despite some people quitting drinking soda, I think that they will have no problem in finding another alternative for their daily sugary needs. This new tax, in my opinion, is just another way for the nation to get another source of income. In addition, I do not think that this is discriminating against, to anybody. If these people still wish to drink soda and other sugary drinks, then they still have the choice, but there will be consequences. In my opinion, I think that the nation is just trying to help its citizens out, however, by doing so it is causing many upsets across the nation.

4/28/2010

jessep3
LMS, DIAMOND BAR CA,
In my own opinion, I think that someone who loves soda or craves it will be willing to pay a few more dollars for the beverage. The reason for it is because soda has grown onto many people and they are just so used to drinking it that they realy won't mind paying a couple bucks extra for what they truely want. Also, many people purchase the drink because its sugar gives them a little boost of energy. People also prefer soda because they know that it is healthier than an energy drink. If I had a choice between a soda or an energy drink, I'd pick the soda. Wouldn't you? Because it has less sugar and it satisfies your thirst at a certain level. On the other hand, the energy drink fills you up and makes you crash later on throught the day because of the guarana and sugars it contains. The point is,if they were to increase tax prices, soda would still be purchased no matter what because people all around the world drink soda and always have. Many people have also added soda to part of their life's since they are so accustom to its taste and satisfaction.I don't think that it will help with health because either way, it will always be purchased In my opinion I would say.I also think that soda will not be forgotten about and its purchase numbers would also go up because consumers would realize that the more you purchase, the less amount of money you'll have to pay. SO in my own opinion, I'm goint to have to disagree with this statement because it really won't make much of a difference.

4/27/2010

Nichole C.
Northeast High School, 7th Period, Philadelphia, PA
I do not think that a soda tax will decrease obesity. Personally, I might buy less soda if there was a high tax but I think I would still buy it. Even with higher prices people are still going to buy soda. As prices on cigarettes go up, people still buy them, even though they are unhealthy. I believe the same will be true if the price of soda is raised. A tax on soda may discourage some people from buying them but I don't believe it would be enough to effect national obesity rates. In addition, if people would not want to put out the money for a higher priced soda they would probably find another sugary and unhealthy alternative.

4/27/2010

Jaron P
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
Taxing soda doesn't really seem fair at all. Next we will taxes on anything with a type of sweetiner , and so many products have that. Taxes will start to become out of control. Then less fortunate persons will not be able to afford basic goods because of the taxes. Sure, people might make "better" desions, but it's there desion to make.

4/27/2010

Bryan H.
Northeast high school, 2nd period, Philadelphia, P.A
A soda tax is something that is good and bad, the good is that we would think twice about getting that soda, the bad is the soda companies will suffer a profit loss. With the soda tax comes a loss of profit for the soda companies, with the loss of profit this means the soda companies have to cut cost. If the soda companies cut cost they will have to end up firing people for other people making a poor choice in what they consume. I do not think people who work for the soda companies should suffer for the people who have no self control. I believe the bad out weighs the good, people losing a job verses healthier people, but who’s to say that they will become healthier, this will just make people substitute other unhealthy things for the soda. I say no to the soda tax!!

4/27/2010

Jiahui C.
Northeast high school,2nd Period, Philadelphia, PA
They should Tax soda because people are drinking too much soda and getting hyped up. . Soda is a refreshing drink but they should tax only if there is lots of sugar Such as energy drinks, they contain lots of sugar and people still but it for around $3. With the tax money they can help people around the world with no water or use it to make a healthier drink similar to Gatorades but with carbon which everyone likes. Soda It does interfere with freedom but think about the health system, it will be corrupted because if they know they get free heath care then they will still drink lots of soda and get diabetes. They go to the doctor and expect them to fix the problem. So, it doesn’t improve public health. With the tax it won’t stop me from buying my soda. Sometime you want to drink soda with a nice meal and water don’t help.

4/27/2010

Ghadeer A.
Northeast High School, 2nd Period, Mr. Frank, Philadelphia, PA
When I first heard that they would be taxing soda, my first reaction was to laugh. Off all the things they choose to tax was soda? I think taxing soda if a first step to improving public health, but I don't think it'll have thatttt big of a difference. People might slowly stop buying as much soda but others might not even care. I understand that it's for the common good of everyone’s health, but taxing it won't stop people buying it. Instead of sitting there taxing us on our sweet drinks, why not look for ways to make them healthier? People would argue and say that healthy drinks usually aren't good, but what's there to lose in trying to look/make one? All in all, people might not buy soda as much as they did before but won't stop completely so I honestly don't think taxing it will make that much of a difference.

4/27/2010

mike period 2
northeast high , Philadelphia
I agree with the soda tax idea. It wont eliminate any major problems but I believe it will reduce the amount of soda products bought. This will affect the companys revenue and might force people to start buying water and juices which would lead them to a healthier lifestyle. It would have negative affects on the economy but a postive outcome on those who choose not to purchase these products anymore. This tax has many sides and would be simiple an opinion about how much soda one drinks. This could be a changing point where america starts a path onto a healthier road.

4/26/2010

Matthew B
Nimitz, Irving, TX
Soft drinks are creating a hard choice for politicians. On one hand, I believe the tax would be beneficial as a tool to curb the rising trend of obesity and it might encourage everyone to be more healthy. However, this tax does seem like just another way to tax the public and politicians are using the “excuse” of obesity as a way to mask their intentions. This tax would not necessarily be a bad thing though. An extra 10 or 20 cents for a bottle of soda could discourage people from buying it, thus making the country healthier. A healthy America is something I would like to see. But even if they tax soda, the American people will turn to something else that is unhealthy just like soda. Also, I have a concern that the tax would create a decrease in sales for the soda industry. If this was to happen, then it would make sense for the soda industry to raise their prices so that they can maintain their regular flow of money. It just seems like the American people will be paying a lot more than this possible tax. Regardless, this issue on soft drinks will continue to fizzle in the minds of America in the coming months.

4/26/2010

Stacie
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
The soda tax can be either effective, or ineffective. It could really go both ways. People will still buy sodas even if the prices rise. It's just like gas when the prices were up to $4, the people still bought gas even when the prices were ridiculous. There will be people that wont buy sodas because they think it wont be worth the money, so they'll buy water, juices, and teas instead. So if the soda tax works, it can make the people drink healthier drinks. The problem with diabetes will also reduce in numbers. Hopefully soda taxes will help us to get on the path of a healthier diet. Anything that can be done to stay healthy will help us in the long run, so it'll be worth all the complaints and snide remarks.

4/26/2010

Edgar I
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
If we were to start this tax as soon as possible, there would be a significant decrease in obesity in the United States because as stated in the story, high-calorie sodas also trigger hunger amongst people causing them to eat even more. With higher prices in the soda aisle, people would be less apt to buying these over-priced sugar drinks meaning less people drinking away their lives. The people who argue that this tax is “discriminatory” against the poor do not realize that there are many other options which are healthier than sodas. This tax would only improve the health of the nation, as well as boosting the economy through a reasonable tax. A tax like this could motivate even I to put down the soda, and get to “moving” as Michelle would like.

4/26/2010

Duoc
Nimitz, Irving/TX
There should not be a tax on soda because it comes across to me as the state or local government is trying to tell us what we can and cannot have. Although it would improve public health, it should be the persons' control of whether or not they should drink sodas excessively and not the state or government. I do believe that it interferes with our choice of freedom because we are basically told what we should or should not drink. If we are taxed on sodas because of the amount of sugar, we can be taxed on everything and everything if the government has a good excuse. I can see why states and local governments would want to put a tax on soda because it is unhealthy, but that tax will go to the government that would be used in their discretion so it comes across, to me, as a way to make some extra money because sodas are one of the many things we buy.

4/26/2010

Bryan
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I think that a tax on soda will decrease the amount of soda bought, but I do not think it will decrease obesity. People will find a way around the tax, for example, the stores hiding the tax. It will not matter that there will be a decrease in purchasing sodas because all of the other junk food will still be eaten. Some people will not even care that there is a tax on soda, and they will continue to drink them regardless of the price increase. Just simply raising the prices on sodas will not fix the obesity problem in America. Studies have shown that cutting out soda in diets will cause people to lose weight, but people will not listen and they will just keep drinking soda.

4/26/2010

Milton
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
I think that soda taxes could cut the consumption of soda drinks but I don't know if on a significant way. People will buy what they want when they want no matter what the price is. I mean as long as the price for that product is reasonable. And as far as improving public health it would help as long as the people stop consumption of sodas at 100 % and do exercise. And even if they do, there are still so many products out there that will cause the same negative impact on your health. And I don' think its just a gimmick to raise taxes I mean the state and local governments will make money on anything they can. And I don't think its discriminatory to put taxes on sodas but then yet again there will always be people that dislike the situation. It technically dose not interfere with my freedom of choice because I mean the sodas are there for you to purchase, is just that it will cost me more to do so. There for if with $10 I could of drink 5 soda cans, with the taxes I can only purchase 4 soda cans. So yea it would reduce my consumption of sugary beverages.

4/26/2010

Casey
NimitzHigh School, Irving,THE TEXAS
First time speaker, long time listener, I believe that a soda tax would not decrease consumption in a significant way because people who drink soft drinks are slightly addicted and they probably would not stop just because of a price increase. This being said, this will leave everybody a little more poor and little bit less satisfied. I do not think this will improve public health because a water with a full course meal, fed by parents that are ignorant to their child's appearance can not change the change the fact. This is harsh, I know, but really what isn't. I know I would still continue to drink sodas.

4/26/2010

RUTHTB
Northeast High School , Philadelphia, PA
Taxing soda wont improve public health because adding more tax doesnt change nothing.My Doctor told me not to drink soda but i still drink soda.I really dont care how high they raise the taxes i will still drink soda.Everybody need a kind of sugar in their system everyday.Raising sugar taxes for a healthier country or state wont work.its like putting a toy infront of a child telling him/her not to touch it.No matter what the baby will touch the toy.Raising of taxed doesnt improve a healthier public.

4/26/2010

omarp2
lorbeer middle school, califonia diamaond bar
I think that puting extra tax on soda isnt going to do anything because people dont realy care if they just put a few cents more because some people would do anything to drink soda

4/23/2010

Jeremy P5
Lorbeer, Diamond Bar
I believe that taxes on soft drinks are just another excuse to have take more money away from the average hard working citizen and this improving public health is just a cover up. I agree with Elijah because I believe that if the person is not willing to quit they will just give the money to get it. It's like cigarettes, people buy like 2-3 packs a day even through the prices of cigarettes are absolutely outrageous. Raising the prices on soda won't improve public health, what will is an individual's will to lose it. So raising the taxes on soda will not benefit anyone's health, but it will help the state's wallet.

4/23/2010

Tamara
Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA
I am not really against the soda tax, because I've been wanting to drink less soda, so this could help me out personally. But in general, I dont believe that having a soda tax will make any difference on the city or nation. If someone wants a soda enough, they will pay what they have to to get one. It's a good effort on the governments part, "Hey, maybe if it cost more people will drink less and we wont be such an obese country," I just dont think it will work.

4/22/2010

Kayla L.
Prophetstown, Prophetstown ,Il
I myself have noticed the raise in prices of pop. I am a junior in high school and when i moved to this town in 8th grade pop uptown at "Mr. G's" was $0.35 and now im a junior and its raised to $0.50 which i find ridiculous for a small town. But its known that caffine is considered a sort of drug since it is addicting, i think that it really wont change all that much if people want to drink but, they;ll drink pop. a raise in the cost wont do much. Although, it is for a good cause and sometimes it does help people lose weight since alot of america is obese. i think its just more benefiting the governmet etc.

4/22/2010

christian g
lorbeer middle school, diamond bar
it's a good idea and i respect because many people will still buy the soda and many people love it, and some people would stop from buying it and it will stop the number of people who might have a heart attack, the number of cavities that people have also i love this idea and i support it

4/21/2010

Daniel
lobeer middle, Diamondbar
Well they shouldn't put taxes on are sodas because if they do lots of other people wouldn't drink or buy the soda because it would coast more money if they want to put taxes on are drinks to in prove health the should put it like on something health like fruits or vegetables an there for its a health product and its helping the public health for everyone

4/21/2010

RyanP1
Lorbber middle, pomona, CA
I am responding to Elijah. I disagree with his opinion because I think that putting an extra tax on soda would improve public health. I think that with the economy California is in today, many people would cut their soda consumption to save money. For example if a soda is $2 and you dink 3 sodas per week. You spend about $24 per month on soda. But with a tax, soda would cost about $2.20, meaning in one month you spend $26.40. This means that in one year you would be able to save about $30, which is a lot for those who are constantly trying to save money. I do agree with Sasha though, because I also believe that this tax won't affect hardcore soda drinkers, because they would be willing to spend a few more cents if it means that they will be able to get what they want.

4/15/2010

Francisco
Nimitz High School, Irving, TX
I agree with the soda tax 100% because like they said its going to fund out the health care plan and also be more healthy by cutting down on those calories. For me I have no problem because I don't buy soda everyday and at home I don't drink soda its ether water or juice but of course in some occasions I have soda here and there but its not in my daily diet. It will drastically help in public health there might be some people out there don't want to pay those extra taxes because in the long run it will add up. It is in any way discriminant because they say the only people that drink soda is the poor no its not everyone drinks soda in some sort of way. Its not like the wealthy people drink whine and really expensive drinks all the time they have sodas that is not in anyway discriminant. It might interfere with freedom of choice but they will find out when they have medical problems and could possibly die soon. To me the tax will stop me from buying sodas or surgery drinks.

4/14/2010

ElijahP5
Lorbeer, Pomona, California
The soda tax would probably be not affective because now many people drink soda and usually people would pay a few cents more to buy one. I remember when the price for one on a vendor came from $1.00 to around a $1.75 it didn't change anything. I think that Shasha's is true because through experience. Many people would rather have a soda than to have water these days and also they would sacrifice a few cents to get it.

4/13/2010

Jennifer
Northeast high school, Philadelphia,PA
i believe that adding a tax to soda will do nothing to help the publics health . If you think about it when you go down the shore or to a different place where a bottle of water is 7 dollars , you pa for it right ? So if you live in philly and your soda price goes up and you are a big soda drinker , your going to pay for it .

4/12/2010

Sasha
Northeast high school 5th period Mr. Frank, Philadelphia, PA
I personally believe that this tax will do little to cause less soda drinkers because if somebody wants a soda they will pay whatever amount it is as long as they get what they want.

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3/9/2010
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2/21/2010
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