Imposing a Sugar Tax: A Controversial Issue
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. Although some will wonder why there should be a sugar tax, a vast number of people favor the proposal because it would benefit all citizens' well-being. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are now dangerous endemic diseases all over the world. The increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity is a significant threat to public health as the incidences are doubling as years go by. Nonetheless, if tax is imposed on sugar, then cases of obesity and its related conditions will be eliminated. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks 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 Need for Change: Reducing Obesity and Diabetes
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 and obesity (110). 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. This way, there will be a reduction of the daily consumption of sugary beverages because the prices will go up and this will be a positive move because it will reduce type 2 diabetes and obesity prevalence.
Taxation of Sugar: Saving Lives and Money
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, et al. 198). 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 taxation of sugar will save the government billions of dollars, which can be directed to other health programs. Moreover, the revenue collected from the sugar tax can be used to prevent and cure obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Opponents' Arguments: Personal Liberties and Effectiveness
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. Moreover, no one is forced to pay the tax since there are many alternatives to sugar-sweetened drinks where one will not be compelled to pay taxes while purchasing them.
Another argument against the sugar tax is not an effective policy to reduce sugar intake. However, with sugar tax, there will be a reduction of sugar intake, and this will mean that due to low consumption of sugar, there will be a decrease in obesity, type 2 diabetes cases, and other sugar related conditions. Besides, the opponent's arguments are weak because there are other policies such as education initiatives and banning advertisements that encourage the intake sugary beverages. However, these policies have been there, but they are not working efficiently, the sugar tax is the best because these sugar-sweetened products will be expensive and people will opt for other products thus reducing excessive sugar consumption.
Promoting Health: Tax on Sugar
It is evident that sugar-sweetened beverages can lead to obesity, which later on leads to obesity related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. In fact, Imamura et al. note, "consumption of sugar sweetened beverages were associated with a greater incidence of type 2 diabetes" (500). 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 ensure a healthy nation that is free from type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Encouraging Healthy Choices: Benefits of Sugar Tax
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 will be lower as consumers will turn to other healthy choices. Therefore, sugar tax will promote the purchase of healthy drinks and reduce sugary beverages consumption. In essence, imposing tax on sugar is essential because it encourages the public to choose a healthy diet and lifestyle because it reduces the use of sugar, which is harmful to people's health. It will reduce the prevalence of type 2 diabetes as well as obesity. Besides, the revenue collected can be used for their treatment and prevention programs.
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.
Imamura, Fumiaki, Et Al. "Consumption of Sugar Sweetened Beverages, Artificially Sweetened Beverages, and Fruit Juice and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: Systematic Review, Meta Analysis, and Estimation of Population Attributable Fraction." Br J Sports Med 50.8(2016): 496-504. Print.
Wang, Y. Claire, et al. "A Penny-Per-Ounce Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Would Cut Health and Cost Burdens of Diabetes." Health Affairs 31.1 (2012): 199-207. Print.