WHO Calls for Sugar Tax to Fight Obesity and Diabetes – Scientific American
Obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014
By Stephanie Nebehay
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday governments should raise taxes on sugary drinks to fight what it says are global obesity and diabetes epidemics.
If retail prices of sugar-sweetened drinks are increased by 20 percent through taxation, there is a proportional drop in consumption, it said in a report titled “Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases”.
An estimated 42 million children under age 5 were overweight or obese in 2015, said Dr. Francesco Branca, director of WHO’s department for nutrition and health. This was an increase of about 11 million over the past 15 years.
The United States has the world’s highest rates of obesity per population, but China also has similar absolute numbers among both men and women, Branca, the nutrition director, said.
Sweet drinks are also popular in Latin America, where people in Chile and Mexico are the biggest consumers, he said.
Why our governments have always to increase taxes on everything that makes us sick?
There is a lot of talk about putting taxes on sugary drinks to fight obesity and diabetes. But is that the way to get rid of obesity and diabetes – I guess not. There should be some other ways to fight against obesity and diabetes.
Why not start with the right education. Educate the teachers from primary school on and show the kids the danger of too much soft drinks. Educate the children about the danger, but not only in school that has to be taught also at home.
But there starts the first problem, how can you expect that the kids at home will be educated about the danger of soft drinks when the parents do not have an education either. It has to be started to educate both at the same time via radio and television and school.
So, my question is why the tobacco industry has to put labels on the packages to warn of the danger of cigarettes (even so it does not keep people from smoking). Why can we not do the same on soft drinks? We can put labels on it to show the danger of the soft drink because of the sugar.
Okay, the beverage industry will come out than with a drink that is completely sugar free and will make more damage than the sugar itself – is that a viable solution? I guess not. Before the government does a step this issue has to be discussed with Scientifics and doctors and see what could be an alternate solution that will not damage our body.
But the best solution in my opinion is not to drink the sugar beverages and drink instead water or other fruit juices instead. And people who cannot stop drinking that sugar water (soft drink) try to eliminate as much as possible the consumption of that beverage.
We have seen this problem with cigarettes, salt and other stuff. We cannot prohibit something that people will consume anyway, therefore we have to find a solution to educate the population to control the consumption of products that damage our body.
Stop dinking soft drinks is the same mental problem as smoking cigarettes or putting salt at your food without trying it first. I still remember when eating in a restaurant, I put salt on the food before I even have tasted it – it was a bad habit and if you train yourself mentally you can get rid of that habit without any problem.
Taxation is not the right way to do to stop soft drink consumption. What has changed between the 50s and now? What is the reason that 40 or fifty years ago we did not have that obesity and diabetes problem, why lately? The problem is not in the soft drink consumption it is more in our society. We have no movement, we only sit in front of the TV, instead of walk – we drive, we cannot go for 300 to 400 m without the car.
The problem of our cities, stress, noise, insecurity and the list goes on. This is one of the biggest problems in our today’s society – with other words we have made the dilemma of our diseases. Our food industry is making us sick. I am sure, if we control the quantity of our consumption of dangerous food that makes us ill, the food industry will start to change their production. But we consume everything they offer and tell us to eat through publishing.