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New York Soda Tax

I don’t talk about politics on my blog, but it’s not because I don’t have opinions. 😉 It’s one of my favorite topics, but sharing my views could complicate my work situation so I stay away from it. Today I’ve decided to share my thoughts on the proposed soda tax here in New York.

I don’t drink soda. I work too hard to lose weight to drink hundreds of calories per day. And I don’t drink diet sodas because replacing garbage with garbage doesn’t seem like a good solution to me either. But I’m a little aggravated about the proposed soda tax that New York is considering.

Mayor Boomberg and Governor Patterson would like to add one cent per ounce as a soda tax which would, in theory, “lower the 7.2 billion dollars that the state spends every year to treat obesity.” Philadelphia has proposed a 2 cent increase per ounce which would raise the price of a 12-pack of sodas by $2.88.

Even after losing 90 pounds, I’m still considered obese. And neither the state or national government is paying for any of my health care. For the record, I’d like to keep it that way.

If you walk by me on your way to work or while you’re out shopping you will never see me drinking a coke or Dr. Pepper. I don’t even drink coffee. But if you walk one block, I am confident that you’ll see overweight folks and many who are by no means overweight drinking sodas.

The problem I have with taxing the hell out of sodas isn’t the money because I don’t drink the stuff. It’s the fact that they’re willing to tax something simply because it makes people fat. And if they can tax sodas because “they want to help curb obesity” then they’ll eventually consider taxing things like chocolate bars or potato chips or birthday cakes.

I don’t eat any of the above on a regular basis, but I don’t believe that it’s okay for the government to seize control of our choices by raising prices. It’s un-American, and I don’t like it.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the subject. While it may not be an issue in your area today, remember that New York tends to set the trend for other states so it could be an issue later.

Do you think it’s okay for the state government to tax foods and/or drinks that are linked to obesity? If so, why?


And the winner of the Trader Joe’s Giveaway is #8 – Julie who is Rockin’ The Country! Congrats Julie. Please send e-mail me with a mailing address so I can send the prize upon my return from vacation next week!

And because it’s fun to give things away, I’ve decided to give a second Trader Joe’s prize. And it goes to #12 – Becca, my favorite Texas Darling! Becca, you’ll receive a little surprise package from Trader Joe’s as well containing a few of my favorite treats.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I wish I could share these items with all of you so I’ll do another giveaway soon!


My vacation begins today, but look for new blog posts everyday. Tomorrow’s post will be about Sarah who has lost 185 pounds! And Friday, the post is about falling in love as an overweight person. I’ll be out of the country, but I’ll definitely keep in touch! Miss me while I’m gone. 😉

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  • Reply
    March 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I'm not sure what I think about this proposed tax yet. One thing I've been thinking about is: how is this any different from a tax on cigarettes? They repeatedly raise the tax on cigarettes by using the same justification that they are trying to keep people from smoking. Is it working? I haven't seen the data. But I doubt this tax will work. People will just shift to another unhealthy beverage, and there are plenty of them.

  • Reply
    {Absolutely, Positively} Josie
    March 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    NO, m'aam, i do NOT(!!!) think it's okay for the government to tax foods and drinks allegedly linked to obesity, for the very reasons you stated. what's next, then? the "links" to the bad behavior only get more tenuous. but nevermind any links at all. it's about the ability to choose your consequences for yourself!

    have an awesome trip! can't wait to hear the details. i'll just be living through you here these next few days. 😉

  • Reply
    March 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Have an amazing trip!!

  • Reply
    Jon and Steph
    March 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    How weird! You know the last time I took Hannah to the pediatrician, I mentioned that she wouldn't drink anything but water out of her sippy cup. I had tried a few times to get her to drink juice, but she wouldn't have it! So I asked the doctor about it and she started talking to Hannah about how it's really good that she doesn't like juice so long as she likes the fruits (and she does) that the juice comes from. She went on to say that juice is fine, but she was happy that Hannah didn't like it because really all it's going to do it make her have weight issues and a taste for sweeter things. She said that she feels that juice is what is starting to cause childhood obesity because it leads to a desire for sweeter things, like sugary drinks and soda. How about that? That would mean then that orange juice and juice boxes would be next! I personally feel that the major problem is inactivity, not soda or bad foods. Is the government going to implement a tax on people who cannot prove that they have exercised five days a week? I just think that it is a little ridiculous because I know as well as anyone else that reads this blog that you can only be successful in weight loss when you make a conscious decision to do so. The government is so silly sometimes!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I agree with you completely. I do drink only coke every now and again. Not enough for this tax to put a dent in my wallet. Eventually we will all start to feel the taxes through prices raising in the resturants and the movies and anywhere sodas are sold in large quanity. They have to make it up some where. No free refills! I agree that sodas are bad and they do have an impact on your weight if you are not carefull. Why sodas? What about chips? Colesterol? Have you heard the facts on heart attacks? What next? It all boils down to "It's a choice". Sounds like you are making wonderful choices. Love your blog!

  • Reply
    Genie @ Diet of 51
    March 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    This tax is not a good idea; what next?

  • Reply
    March 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Congrats to the winners! Yay! Hope you have a blast!

  • Reply
    Weighting Around
    March 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    We all make our own choices. Taxing soda will not reduce obesity one iota. Good or bad, we are entitled to make our own choices and a tax isn't going to change the choices we make. Alcoholics still drink and look at the taxes on alcohol! I think the whole idea is a waste of time.

  • Reply
    ♥ Kenz ♥
    March 18, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Well, in my opinion, the tax is not actually intended to reduce soda intake..the goal is actually to raise money under the pretense of better health. That's one of several reasons that I have a problem with it.

  • Reply
    Losing Weight Daily
    March 24, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I am in favor of governments *finally* doing something to address this issue. It's a pity the health care reform act does so little to address obesity prevention & correction – and I doubt we'll see much more in the effort from the government for the foreseeable future (First Lady's program aside). But the answer is not *only* in a fat tax. A fat tax is the tip of a deep iceberg of intertwining atrocities in the way we use and create food here.

    The people a fat tax affects most – and is purportedly supposed to help – are often going to be those of limited discretionary income. Bad food is cheaper than healthy food because of the subsidies for corn and other crops that are processed six ways to Sunday to turn them into chemicals that are then added to food. Because it's cheap, that bag of chips is cheaper than that head of lettuce, which has no subsidy.

    So a fat tax kicks in and makes the bag of chips more expensive … but it's still cheaper than the head of lettuce. That does nothing but leave the poor family poorer. It doesn't help them make better choices, it just makes the bad choices more painful. And the obesity education that fat taxes supposedly pay for aren't going to do anything. We don't need more education (well, maybe we do, but not only that).

    I am okay with a fat tax but ONLY if it moves money from the bad foods to the good foods through the creation of subsidies for healthy crops and food.

    But sensible anti-obesity advocates don't have a strong lobbyist. Yet.

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