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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MONEY MATTERS WITH SHEILA -- SODA TAX?


Last week health editor Janice Kerr gave us tips for reducing our muffin tops. One suggestion she made was to cut out the sugar. We have a triple whammy hitting us in this country right now -- an obesity crisis, a health cost crisis, and an economic crisis. In some ways, the three are related. It’s been suggested we could help kill three birds with one stone by adding a penny an ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages.

Recent medical studies out of Columbia University and the University of California have estimated that such a tax could prevent nearly 8,000 strokes, 26,000 premature deaths, and 100,000 cases of heart disease, results far less taxing on our bodies, our medical system, and our wallets -- in other words, that triple whammy could morph into a triple win. And all for a few pennies more each week.

Of course, there are those who say people would just turn to other high calorie beverages or drink beverages loaded with artificial sweeteners. The tax would increase the coffers in Washington and maybe offset some of the healthcare costs and help with the deficit, but it would do little to help the obesity problem.

Thanks, Sheila! What about you, readers? How do you weigh in (pun intended) on this issue? Good idea or not? Let’s hear from you. 
Post a comment to enter the drawing for a book from our guest author on Friday. -- AP

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