A recent study published in the journal “Nature” argues that sugar is so dangerous is should be regulated like alcohol.
It was even suggested that an age limit of 17 be set in order to buy things like pop. Some might view it as a tad extreme but I believe there is a point to be made here and that is (as the study says), a little sugar “is not a problem but a lot kills – slowly.”
People are consuming hundreds of extra calories every day in the form of added sugar. The sweetness overload is linked to the metabolic syndrome that causes obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high triglycerides. Both cigarettes and alcohol are taxed by the government so why not sugar?
The biggest complaint that people seem to have is that they don’t want to be told what to eat, that as adults they can make their own decisions. I have a problem with that kind of reasoning.
We trust government agencies to warn us when something might not be good for us to consume. We comply because they know what they’re talking about and most of us don’t. For instance, once upon a time baby formula had melamine in it. Until, in 2008, it was discovered that the additive was harmful when 56,000 babies in China got sick. I don’t recall seeing any of those parents saying, “Well sure babies are getting sick but I’m an adult and I’ll feed my child harmful chemicals if I want to!” Or, if they did, I’m sure they were drinking a washer fluid Slurpee with a Drain-O chaser at the time.
It’s not a matter of free will, or whether or not adults have the right to choose. You can still choose to have the sugar, to buy the pop, to fill your body with as much refined, processed granular glory as you want. You just have to want it bad enough that you’ll pay for it, just like cigarettes and alcohol. Fact is, people are getting sick, people are dying, because the tether between consumers and sugar is so strong.
By adding a tax to sugar it will make people think twice before they start throwing things into their grocery carts and I can’t see why that would be a bad thing. So I say go for it, tax sugar, BUT ensure that the price of wholesome, fresh foods comes down. It’s impossible right now for someone on a restricted budget to eat well when the price of vegetables is so high. Let the farmers produce more of our food to bring the prices down and make healthy choices available to everyone THEN start the sugar tax.