Feb 06 2012

Public Health

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A soda tax to prevent love handles

A dream Valentine’s Day is filled with expressions of love, flowers and chocolates.  Fortunately the love handles created by Valentine’s Day candy are fleeting; the bigger problem is our love affair with sugar-laden sodas that promotes obesity.

The added calories in soda come from sugar that has almost doubled over the past 20 years to about 240 calories a day. This is like spooning 16 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth every time you drink a normal 20 ounce bottle of soda, which requires you to walk a mile to burn up those empty calories.

CalorieLable Public Health

New calorie labels help, better still is indicating that you need to walk a mile to burn them off

Soda’s been doing us wrong for too long, its the largest source of added sugar in our diet and drinking its linked to greater obesity, diabetes and heart disease, says the CDC. And now a Health Affairs study outlines how a proposed soda tax could prevent 26,000 early deaths and save $17 billion in medical costs.

It’s time to break-up with soda and make a new date with healthier drinks.

Here’s how the tax would work. A penny per ounce would be added to the cost of sweetened sodas in LA County and the 100 million dollars would be used to fund programs that prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy eating.

I understand, people hate taxes – I don’t want you to pay a cent. Just select a healthier alternative drink, or feel good knowing that you helped others stay thinner.

This is something that we all can love.

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