Are We Still Discussing the “Soda Tax”?

Of course we are. Do you know the strength of this industry’s lobby and the size of its ad budget?

I have to say, the way they have twisted the logic is almost admirable…almost. The ads that run here in DC have a mother in the grocery store talking about the high cost of groceries especially when personal budgets are tight during this recession. She goes on to chastise the government about telling her how to spend her money and trying to manage her household. She urges viewers to tell the government to stop mismanaging our tax money and to do their jobs…WOW. How did we get there from taxing sugary beverages?

What I want to know is where are the commercials featuring our obese children on the playground getting teased by other kids or the shot of them at the doctor having to be put on a diet because they are too heavy and are at risk for every disease imaginable? Up to 33 percent of children and teens are obese in this country. This tax originated with the Healthy Schools legislation to improve the quality of the meals that are served in school to our children. The tax was an innovative way to cover the cost of the improvements which include using local farmers and teaching kids about sustainability and to garden. How is this different than taxing cigarettes? Because it is a less painful possible slower death?

As I said, this is the product of a very powerful lobby but we need to open our eyes, do the research and think long-term. Is the true cost a higher sticker price on Coke and Gatorade or the life-span of our children?

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