The article’s purpose was to examine consumption trends of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), the available evidence on the negative outcomes of health associated with consuming SBBs, as well as the current approaches for a system of taxation that may help improve dietary choices and help the US population deal with high healthcare costs. The significant findings of the article include the fact that the US government, as well as separate states and cities, consider imposing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages because of the scientific evidence linking SSB consumption and increased risks for chronic diseases. Moreover, the rising costs of healthcare burdens are concerning, which may justify the government’s efforts to consider SSB taxation. It was surprising to learn that the revenue-generating potential from taxing SSBs can be considerable; therefore, it can be used for strengthening the healthcare systems and improving patient education on positive dietary habits.
When it comes to objections, it has been argued that taxing SSB will not solve the crisis of rising obesity, nor will it cut the consumption of SBBs by the population. Also, producers will have to increase prices, which may take a toll on the consuming power of the population (Brownell et al., 2009). In my opinion, non-caloric sweeteners are not better than regular ones, which means that their taxation is also possible. It is only a good idea to tax SSBs if all of the funds collected go toward public education and improving access to healthcare services; if not, the effort to tax has no logical grounds. A comprehensive and systematic public health initiative that covers education, awareness, and support services for the population can be implemented to reduce SSB consumption. Instead of ‘punishing’ manufacturers, it is a better idea to encourage investment in educational and service quality efforts.
Brownell, K. D., Farley, T., Willett, W. C., Popkin, B. M., Chaloupka, F. J., Thompson, J. W., & Ludwig, D. S. (2009). The public health and economic benefits of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. The New England Journal of Medicine, 361(16), 1599-1605. Web.