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Tax, or not to tax: That's the question...

"Fizzy drinks should be heavily taxed and junk food adverts banished until after the watershed, doctors have said, in a call for action over obesity."

In countries, where fast food chains have been introduced no more than 20 years ago, the number of obese and morbidly obese people has exploded over this short period of time. However, the problem is not just in sugary drinks and junk food - it's also the overconsumption of processed food and carbohydrates - not fat as it's often claimed. People generally know little about food and nutrition and as a result they follow generally set guidelines such as "drink low-fat milk and eat low-fat products". The blame is on the bodies that set such guidelines.

I am personally not a fan of "sin" taxes, it's just going to lead to more poor, overweight people. Plus, all fast food chains will find ways round it. Education is the way to go! We should also stop subsidizing the corn industry that will increase prices on foods containing HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup), which has damaging effects on the human body. HFCS is relatively new and has been in our diet since 1960's as a reaction to the growing price of imported sugar in the US. HFCS is sweeter than table sugar and even has higher glycemic index. It is used in the production of fizzy drinks, breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups, and condiments. If you want to understand what sugar and HFCS do to your body, have a look at this video presentation by Dr. Lustig. Here is the article at bbc.co.uk if you want to learn more.

This was and will not the only case. Recently, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been planning to ban sales of sodas larger than 16 oz (the really BIG ones). Unfortunately, his attempt has been criticised for lack of evidence that soda drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic. Lack of evidence? How about the fact that the obesity epidemic has literally rocketed since the introduction of HFCS used in soda drinks?

Not only big soda drinks are loaded with HFCS, but they often cost less than bottled water. Large food companies always make sure they pay enough to take control over the media. Don't trust ads on TV, trust science!

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Comments (2)

I think that M. Bloomberg did the right thing. I mean who needs 16 oz coke? HFCS and soda drinks ARE the main reason for obesity epidemic and drink and food industries only care about their profit!

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I don't think taxing it it the best solution - firstly, people need to be educated and this includes health professionals who sometimes believe fat is bad while carbs are good for us. It's more complicated than that...

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