Arkansas should be in the front line in support of the tax on sugary beverages in an effort to kick obesity out of the United States. This tax could provide revenues to boost the reforms in health care. This way, the economic problems of the government and that of Obese Americans may be tackled. Tax on sugary beverages could be one powerful weapon in the fight against obesity, same as how taxes have impacted on cigarette smoking positively.
According to estimations by Thomas Farley, and Joseph W. Thompson, the Arkansas surgeon general estimates, if a penny was taxed on an ounce on sugary drinks, in the first year there would be raised $14.9 billion. This amount could be committed on various initiatives of health care. It should be noted that the tax could only apply to energy drinks, soft drinks, iced teas and many juices but not to diet drinks that are sugar free. Tax on the beverages may not only raise revenues but it will have noteworthy effects on health of many Americans by lowering the amount of soda and other sugary drinks consumed. This will lead to a minimal weight loss hence reduced health related risks among many American citizens (William, 1).
A research on price elasticity for the sugary beverages shows that for every 10 percent price increase, it will lead to a 8 to 10 % decline in consumption. Arkansas should fully support this initiative because it is clear to everyone that taxes on sodas would have unpretentious impacts on consumptions. However, there would be generated billions of dollars that could be spent in mounting of public health campaigns.
It is the high time Arkansas supported replacement of the high-calorie sweetened beverages with a glass of water. Although there some who would complain that taxes on sugary beverages is an impediment on social liberties, the impact of these drinks on the obesity epidemic and on citizens’ cost of healthcare is huge. An average American will drink over 50 gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages and soda every year which is an equivalent of 39 pounds of sugar.
Why should we support the taxes sugary beverages? Just imagine if water replaced soda! The health care system of the United States would be in a very different place at this time. In reference to Dr. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy “[t]he science [is] clear and conclusive: soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are leading contributors to the nation’s runaway obesity epidemic” What should encourage you to come out clearly in support of the tax, is the New York State budget office estimates that tax would go up by $1 billion a year if fully effected and consumption would be reduced by 15% with earnings going to subsidize on health services (William, 1).
Taxes like these are a good thing for nutrition professionals. No nutrition professional will ever call soda an ingredient of a desired diet for the reason that it is not a basic necessity nor is it a food. The tax should be supported because it discourages consumption that benefits most of the citizens who find it challenging to make ends meet. These are the people who can hardly afford to waste their hard-earned dollars on calories that threaten their health. From a nutritionist point of view, there is no time in any day for one to drink and eat for empty calories. This refers to the food that provides calories and that are short of nutrients. Finest health needs a lot of nutrients already and consumption of watery sugar is just a waste of space for such nutrients in the body.
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