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Soda tax in the US - Essay Example

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Both the public and the government stand to benefit from the soda tax. Taxing soft drinks generates revenue for the government, which helps offset other expenses in the budget. Taxation makes soft drinks more expensive limiting their accessibility and consumption…
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Soda tax in the US
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Soda tax in the US

Download file to see previous pages... Statistics show that more than one third or 35.7% of adults in the US are obese and suffer from obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and coronary diseases. Obesity prevalence varies across different states whereby, in 2002, all states had a prevalence of more than 20% with the prevalence ranging from 34.7% in Louisiana to 20.5% in Colorado. Furthermore, the federal’s annual medical expense of obesity as of 2008 was $ 147 billion dollars (CDC, 2013). Prompted by the rise in obesity in the country, different researchers have hypothesizes different causes and suggested solutions aimed at mitigating the harmful social and economic effects of obesity. The soda tax is one such suggestion; however, not all agree on the possible benefits likely to result from the taxation of soft drinks.
Whether or not adopting the soda tax in the US proves sufficient in reducing the obesity rate in the country remains a controversial issue for those for and against the tax policy. Proponents for the tax base their argument on credible research findings, which indicate that taxing soft drinks reduces high caloric intake minimizing an individual’s probability of developing obesity. First introduced as an abstract idea by the Director of Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity (RCFPO) Kelly D. Brownell in 1994, the soda tax aimed to improve public health while simultaneously raise revenue in the US economy. Later studies done in Yale University by the RCFPO in 2011 indicated that a penny-per-ounce levy on soft drinks would function to reduce consumption by 13%, which resulted in the elimination of 8,000 calories from a regular, American’s diet annually....
inancial implication of obesity as a reason for taxing soft drinks, which many researchers have hypothesized as one of the leading causes of obesity in the US. Revenue generated from taxing soft drinks proves beneficial for the federal and state governments whereby, governmental officials can use the funds to offset financial deficits in the budget. A survey done by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services in 2012 indicated that taxing soft drinks would generate revenue of $ 14.9 billion dollars within the first fiscal year alone (Fletcher et al, 2010). Conversely, those against the tax policy sight poor lifestyle habits such as living a sedentary life and poor nutrition (high cholesterol diet) as major causes of obesity, which if not addressed would render taxing soft drinks inefficient in minimizing the obesity rate within the country. Research done by Fletcher and colleagues in 2009 aimed at examining the impact of fluctuating soda tax in different states on body mass index (BMI) revealed that soft drinks consumption accounted for 7% of total energy intake. They concluded that if taxed at the average taxation rate of tobacco (58%) the mean BMI of the US population would only decrease by 0.16 points reducing obesity in the population by 0.7% (Fletcher et al, 2010). This showed that soft drink taxes’ influence on BMI is minimal and does little to decrease obesity in the population. Furthermore, those against this policy are of the opinion that taxation of soft drinks does not limit their accessibility because many are willing to spend more money for their preferred luxury items such as soft drinks. In conclusion, it is apparent that both the public and the government stand to benefit from the soda tax. Taxing soft drinks generates revenue for the government, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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