Richmond, California was the first city in the state to place a soda tax on the ballot. El Monte in southern California soon followed with a similar levy. Both Measures N and H failed to pass, but voters across the country and within our practice paid close attention to the issues they raised.
Soda, juice, flavored milk, and sports drinks are the number one sources of added sugar in children’s diets today. As we move past election season, let’s revisit why sugary drinks have such taxing effects on the youngest of consumers:
- According to HealthyBoston, it would take 15 cookies to consume the same amount of sugar in a regular, 16.5 oz. bottle of soda. That’s a lot of cookies. (The average American consumes six 12 oz. cans a week – about 64 cookies worth of sugar!)
- Imagine how consuming 64 cookies a week would increase the number on your weight scale. The rise in soda consumption over the past 30 years is directly linked to the prevalence of childhood obesity and diabetes.
- A child who’s just eaten the equivalent of 15 cookies won’t be hungry for much else. Sugary beverages displace the nutrients that would be ingested in more nourishing foods.
- We all know sugar contributes to tooth decay. In addition to being sugary, soda is highly acidic. In just 20 minutes, the acids begin working to dissolve tooth enamel. Imagine when a child forgets to brush his teeth, only to drink more soda the next day…
- Add to the sugary beverages an onslaught of sugary foods like sweetened cereal, pastries, and even pasta sauce. Soda, juice, and sports drink are not the only source of sugar, but as liquids, they are absorbed by the body more quickly. Simply substituting water for sugary drinks is a big step in the right direction.
Do you think soda should be taxed? What are some other ways we can curb our kids’ consumption of sugary drinks?