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Will a Sugar Tax Help Fight Obesity?

Will a Sugar Tax Fight Obesity?
Self

We are hearing more and more about sugar taxes in various parts of America these days. The idea, and goal of creating a sugar tax is to let people know that consuming foods high in sugar will cost them more, both in their health and in their wallet.

But it's not going to work. There are taxes on alcohol and cigarettes and that doesn't seem to be stopping most people from consuming massive quantities of both harmful substances. So why would sugar be any different?

The real truth of the matter is that people will simply allow more money in their budget for sugary snacks. They will joke about needing a second job in order to get their daily or weekly fix of ice cream and cookies and other delicious desserts that are literally killing people with obesity and metabolic diseases.

But the real issue is that there is a much bigger problem at hand. Most everybody is aware that if you eat a piece of cake and wash it down with a 20oz soda that you are consuming sugar. Our society associates sugary foods with joy and delight, and there is no secret that the best tasting foods have a lot of sugar.

But what about other foods? There is added sugar in so much of our food supply these days that most people are completely unaware of how much they consume. If a sugar tax was to become a reality, would these foods be included too? If they did, then we would have a literal outrage in every community.

Imagine a price increase in foods like low fat yogurt, milk (skim, whole and low fat varieties), ketchup, BBQ sauce, granola, fruit juice and thousands more. Did you know that 1 cup of skim milk has 12 grams of sugar added to it? If you are keeping count, that is 3 teaspoons of the diabetes causing substance.

The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 25 grams of sugar per day, per person. That comes out to just about 6 teaspoons if you are counting. So now you are looking at the fact that 1 single cup of so-called "healthy" skim milk has 1/2 of the daily recommendation of sugar, and that's without cereal, lunch, dinner or any beverages or snacks in a day.

And make no mistake, this added sugar in foods that claim to be healthy is the cause of all of this obesity. Yes, people are eating cake and some people are consuming more food than ever. But a vast amount of people are not doing this. There are people who really try very hard to eat healthy, and so they eat foods they have been told are good for them.

And those foods all have added sugar. To propose a tax on sugar is the same as saying that all prices on 80% of our food supply are going to be taxed. People simply will not tolerate it, and many people simply cannot afford it. If you tax sugary foods like cake and ice cream, then it is only fair to tax other foods with unneeded sugar as well.

To put it very simply, Americans simply will not benefit from a sugar tax, until there is much less sugar in our daily diet.