The recent move by the American Medical Association to throw its support behind the tax imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages has stirred uproar from the public. The tax is supposed to make consumers think twice before spending that extra cent on these products that are bound to increase their weight. But is this tax justified?
Research has linked the added sugars in these drinks to higher body weight and health conditions that are associated with being overweight like type II Diabetes. But it is not only sugar that contribute to being overweight. There are other factors like eating food that has too much cholesterol and not observing a healthy eating pattern just to mention a few. I appreciate the effort that has been made to curb obesity by imposing tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, but this is not enough. The tax will only make the consumers more defiant and they might end up buying the drinks just to spite the law. Other measures that will not spark controversies should be used. Why not try educating the public on the dangers of obesity and enlightening them on how to eliminate obesity from their lives like encouraging children and youth to be physically active, thus getting rid of the sedentary lifestyles they are used to. Members of the public can also be protected from obesity by making healthy foods and drinks more affordable. This will encourage them to eat healthy.
So, instead of introducing ridiculous taxes on sweetened drinks, the public should be made aware of the health risks that come with obesity and what they can do to prevent it. Enlightening the public is the way to go if the fight against obesity is to be won.