Recently, Philly.com incorporated an article titled: Study: Water consumption up with Berkeley ‘soda tax’. It was written by Tricia L. Nadolny, a staff writer, and the article’s title peaked my immediate interest because I know that Philadelphia will be taxing “sugary drinks” in January. So, I am curious as to whether or not the tax will encourage people to skip the soda in favor of a healthier water option.
According to Tricia L. Nadolny, “the study by the University of California researchers found sugary drink consumption in low-income areas fell by 21 percent five months after the tax went into effect, while water consumption rose by 63 percent”. On the surface, this sounds like a great opportunity for the City of Brotherly Love to become healthier, but is a 1.5 percent-per-ounce ‘soda tax’ enough to make people want to cut the sugary beverages out of their diets?
Nadolny mentions that “the beverage industry has warned Philadelphia that people will travel away from the city to circumvent the tax”, which, if you ask me, sounds like a workable scenario. However, Lauren Kane, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association, is not convinced that the survey conducted by the University of California Berkeley is legitimate. “She calls it a street survey”, according to Tricia L. Nadolny, and spokeswoman Kane adds that “taxes on common grocery items do not improve the health of the masses and real solutions are being sought, such as reducing package size”.
In my opinion, the ‘soda tax’ is ridiculous and should be repealed. Does water cost more than sugary beverages?
My belief of the answer to this question is no because I am a firm believer that people are ultimately responsible for their own health, and that choosing to drink water over processed beverages is not a financial hardship. In other words, there is not much of an excuse as to why soda, energy drinks or sports drinks are a main part of one’s diet. I am not saying that one can’t have a cold soda or energy drink once-in-a-while, but moderation is the key.
If someone were to replace all of the process drinks in their diet with water or drinks with very little processed ingredients, I think that he or she would be surprised as to how much better they will feel in a physical sense.
In conclusion, I don’t think that a tax on sugary beverages is going to benefit Philadelphians because if they are not willing to limit their consumption of the drinks, they will just roam away from the city to get their sugary drink fix. This tax will have little to no health benefits for people, so it should be thrown into the trash before it goes into effect in January 2017.