Soda Tax and Diet Drinks

I came across an article online today that caught my eye. The title…”New York’s Soda Tax Scam”. Wow, a tax on soda?  What will they think of next. But as I read through the article, something bigger caught my eye. The tax is only on regular, full-sugar cans of pop. The diet ones are specifically excluded because the logic behind this tax is that people are fat and should stop drinking soda.

Their are many problems with this idea. First, from a governmental perspective, this is just outright wrong to have the government deciding what you can and cannot eat. Fast forward 20-30 years when socialized medicine is fully entrenched. What is to stop the government from not only taxing, but even banning foods it does not want you to eat. If they have to pay the medical bill to fix you, then they’ll definitely want to have a say as to what goes into your body. The outworkings of this are astonishing. But, this is a food site, and I digress.

The big food issue I saw here and wanted to highlight is the mentality that calories are bad, and less is better. Diet soda, in the government’s eyes, are OK to drink, but the ones with sugar are not. The only thing they are basing this on is numbers of calories. But, if you’re a regular reader of this site, you already know that calories aren’t the enemy. Our bodies need energy to live and to grow. The real problem is the foods (or should I say, food-like-substances) we put in our bodies.

So, when we look at a diet soda, and hear the government tell us that we should drink them instead of a can of full-sugar soda, we need to realize that the two choices really are like saying, “get cancer but don’t be fat.”  Both choices mimic real nutrition and the need that all humans have to seek out and consume calories.  However, neither is a healthy food, and both will cause long term damage. You’re just picking between two poisons.

The full-sugar can of soda does indeed have a super-abundance of processed sweetness. But the can of diet soda has an equal amount of chemicals that resembles sweetness. Your body really doesn’t want either of these things. We just need to realize that just because we abandon the white sugar in the soda, doesn’t mean the chemical substitutes that get put in are any better. They’ll just cause a different disease.

So, my encouragement is that when you finally get the conviction that white sugar is bad, don’t jump off the other cliff and start pouring the diet chemicals into your body. And likewise, whatever the government tells you about food…you can pretty much ignore.

3 thoughts on “Soda Tax and Diet Drinks”

  1. I agree with everything you say, but will add that the precedent for this has already been set by governments taxing alcohol and tobacco. If the populace is OK with beer and cigarettes being taxed, why should it object to paying taxes on junk food?

  2. Though the precedent may have been set, it doesn’t mean it is right. The populace is not OK with beer and cigarettes being taxed…only the folks who don’t consume those products are OK with them being taxed. The government should not use any tax as a form of behavior control. It is a very slippery slope, which unfortunately our government has slid very far down.

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