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A Soda Tax to Prevent Love Handles

We all love a little Valentine’s Day candy, but it's time to withdraw our love for sugar-laden soda. Let’s tax it and use the fees to promote health.

A dream Valentine’s Day is filled with expressions of love, flowers and chocolates. Fortunately the love handles created by Valentine’s Day candy are fleeting; the bigger problem is our love affair with sugar-laden sodas that promotes obesity.

The added calories in soda come from sugar that has almost doubled over the past 20 years to about 240 calories a day. This is like spooning 16 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth every time you drink a normal 20 ounce bottle of soda, which requires you to walk a mile to burn up those empty calories.

Soda’s been doing us wrong for too long, its the largest source of added sugar in our diet and drinking it is linked to greater obesity, diabetes and heart disease, says the CDC. And now a Health Affairs study outline how a proposed soda tax could prevent 26,000 early deaths and save $17 billion in medical costs. It’s time to break-up with soda and make a new date with healthier drinks.

Here’s how the tax would work. A penny per ounce would be added to the cost of sweetened sodas in LA County and the 100 million dollars would be used to fund programs that prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy eating. I understand, people hate taxes - I don’t want you to pay a cent. Just select a healthier alternative drink, or feel good knowing that you helped others stay thinner.

This is something that we all can love.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marisa Petroro February 13, 2012 at 08:23 AM
Great idea! @marisapetroro www.DearDrZen.blogspot.com
Wendy February 16, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Why create a new monster. Taxing people will not stop people from drinking soft drinks. Neither will eduaction. They taste good and coke is addicting. The money will just end up getting ripped off by those who collect it in the end. Better just to let people do what they want. There are new studies that show it is cheaper to keep a fat population because they draw less health care cost in the end since they die 10 years sooner. A fat slob can also live to 80 years old. Most of it is genetic. I have seen lifetime drunks live to 90 because they don't eat anything. A tax to make people behave never solved anything.

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