We all love the sweet taste of an ice-cold soda on a hot day, and we’ve been drinking more and more sugary drinks each year. Now, according to the New York Times, they are the single largest source of calories in the American diet. We consume a whopping 150 lbs of sugar per person per year!
Unfortunately, these sugars are expanding our waistlines. The calories in a sweetened drink are empty and do very little to satisfy the appetite. When we drink soda, we don't adjust by eating less; we eat more. The excess calories turn into fat. Additional effects of consuming excess sugar, particularly in liquid form, include tooth decay, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more which put a strain on our medical system.
To combat this problem, New York State is considering an excise tax of one penny per ounce for high-calorie sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas. By increasing the cost of a drink by just a cent per ounce, researchers predict that consumption will decrease by more than 10%, and more than $1.2 billion would be generated in New York alone. This money would be used to support obesity prevention efforts and help subsidize healthier foods making them cheaper and encouraging healthier habits. A recent poll of New York residents found that 72% supported this "soda tax".
So, the next time you reach for that ice-cold soda, think about the effects and consider healthier alternatives like water or unsweetened tea.
Submitted by Amanda Mason, PEEPs Member