Saving You from the Obesity Monster

A new study has been published on soda consumption showing that Americans consumed 13.8 billion gallons of “sugary beverages” in 2009. This equates to about 45 gallons. This doesn’t include diet soda either. The study found that if we increased the tax on soda by a penny-per-ounce, this could lower the number of new cases of diabetes by 2.6 percent and prevent 95,000 episodes of hear disease, 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature death. In addition, it would save an estimated $17 billion in medical costs over the next 10 years. Ahh, the beauty of observation.

According to Sugarydrinkfacts.org, Hispanic children saw 49% more ads for sugary soda and black children and teens saw 80-90% more ads for sugary drinks compared to whites. This isn’t really surprising considering black children watch A LOT more television than white children do.

We’re a society that loves inflated statistics and scare-tatic advertising…

Experts often point to cigarette taxes lowering smoking rates. Keep in mind, at the same time these taxes were imposed, tons of money was pumped into anti-smoking campaigns. It isn’t fair to compare smoking to drinking soda because fewer than 20% of Americans smoke, but almost all of them drink soda occasionally. If you don’t smoke, you don’t smoke. If you don’t drink soda, chances are you’ll still have one occasionally, whether it be at a party, sporting event or restaurant.

Some states already have soda taxes, How are those working out for them? Let’s look at the top 5 and bottom 5 states in terms of obesity and their soda taxes.

Top 5 States with the Highest Obesity Rates:

1.Mississippi- 34.4% obese,

Soda Tax: 8%

2.Alabama- 32.3% Obese,

Soda Tax: 4%

3.West Virginia- 32.2% Obese

Soda tax: 6%

4.Tennessee- 31.9% Obese,

Soda tax: 5.5%

5.Louisiana- 31.6% Obese

Soda tax: none

 

Top 5 States with the Lowest Obesity Rates:

1.Colorado- 19.8

Soda tax: none

2.Washington DC- 21.7%

Soda tax: none

3.Connecticut- 21.8%

Soda tax: 6%

4.Massachusetts- 22.3

Soda tax: none

5.Hawaii- 23.1%

Soda tax: 4%

The state with the highest obesity rate has the highest soda tax while 3 of the 5 “healthiest” states have no soda tax. Maybe the answer is to eliminate soda tax! Hey, look at that, I’ve just completed an awesome observational study!!! I’ll expect my check in the mail next week for saving this country from the obesity monster…

I will get you if you drink soda!

 

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