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Berkeley was the first city to enact a sugar tax to combat obesity in 2014. A subsequent analysis found that this reduced the number of people drinking these drinks by up to 20%. Imposing a sugar tax is necessary, but it has become a contentious issue, with some in favor and others opposed. There are different statements and reasons on this topic, and despite the fact that increased sugar intake is harmful, some people are still opposed to this idea. While some people might be asking why there should be a tax on sugar, a large group of people supports the idea because it will be beneficial for the health of all citizens.
These days, type 2 diabetes and obesity have become dangerous endemic conditions in the world. The increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity is a significant threat to the public health as the incidences continue to rise with time. Nonetheless, if tax is imposed on sugar, then cases of obesity and its related conditions will begin to decrease and may even be eliminated. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks like soda are linked to the primary causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if sugar is taxed, there will be reduced consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and this will further help in the reduction of major health issues such as diabetes and obesity.
The rising prevalence of obesity can cause serious effects on the health of the society, for instance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. According to reports from the Ma, Yuan, et al. millions of people are diagnosed with diabetes every year, and it is mainly caused by increased intakes of sugar (Ma). Therefore, there is a need for a serious change in the manufacture and sale of sugary beverages and these changes can be implemented through sugar taxation. Due to the increase in prices, a reduction of daily consumption of sugary beverages should be obtained. Thus decreasing the rates at which both obesity and type 2 diabetes are increasing.
High intakes of sugar have detrimental effects on the health of everyone and for this reason; the government should take a step towards placing a tax on sugar. Sugar has adverse health risks and should not be taken excessively. Most countries, for instance, America spends billions of dollars in the treatment and prevention of obesity and its related illnesses (Wang). For this reason, since sugar has been identified as one of the primary causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes, it should be taxed. The sugar tax is trying to ensure that the government will save billions of dollars that can be directed to other health programs since a low consumption of sugar will be achieved.
The opponents of sugar tax insist that placing a tax on sugar to reduce people's sugar consumption is going against personal liberties. They further argue that the government has no right to decide how much sugar people have to take by influencing consumer patterns. Moreover, they insist that the sugar tax is regressive to the low-income families as they will not be able to afford it. Nonetheless, such arguments are unsound because the government creating a tax on sugar will help solve an epidemic. This, however, is exactly what the tax is trying to create. The consumer should think twice about buying a sugary beverage, maybe even reaching for a bottle of water instead.
Another argument against the sugar tax is not an effective policy to reduce sugar intake. However, with sugar tax, individuals will be forced to think twice before they make a purchase, and this could lead to a lower consumption of sugar. This could decrease the number of new obesity, and type 2 diabetes cases. It is evident that sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to obesity, which later on leads to obesity related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. Companies manufacturing these sugary products are making millions by making their products accessible and affordable to consumers, yet sugar is a known cause of several health conditions. Many people prefer grabbing maybe juice for breakfast, which is full of sugar and even soda for lunch without knowing the risks of consuming too much sugar in a day. However, if there is sugar tax, the prices of these products will go up, and their consumption will be low. Therefore, a tax should be placed on sugar to help fight the increased cases of both type 2 diabetes and obesity.
There is valid evidence that a tax on sugar will help reduce the consumption of sugary beverages. Increased consumption of sugar is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, if tax is imposed on sugar, the prices will go up, and the consumption may be lowered as consumers may turn to healthy options. Therefore, sugar tax will promote the purchase of healthy drinks and help reduce the consumption of sugary beverages. In essence, imposing tax on sugar is essential because it encourages the public to choose a healthier option that is not filled with sugar. With sugar tax, there will be a reduction of cases of major health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Ma, Yuan, et al. "Gradual Reduction of Sugar in Soft Drinks Without Substitution as A Strategy to Reduce Overweight, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes: A Modelling Study." The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology 4.2 (2016): 105-114. Print.
Wang, Y. Claire, et al. "A Penny-Per-Ounce Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Would Cut Health and Cost Burdens of Diabetes." Health Affairs31.1 (2012): 199-207. Print.
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