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05/24/2009

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Anonymous

All through this topic we see "especially children" and "lack of parental guidance". I'd agree, it does seem that limiting the intake of sodas and other junk food combined with age appropriate nutritional information protects many kids from becoming soda addicts and little profit centers for the corporations...... Ha! with the costly externalities suggested by the Docs. Ah yes! The American way!

I remember the early machines coming on campus but they dispensed a frozen real orange juice popsicle. I'd think an outright ban of dispensing heavily sugared and caffeine laden drinks would serve two purposes; first that of having only healthier alternatives at hand, and second that of prompting discussion as to why pop was not allowed in the schools and perhaps it would lead to even more discussion of good nutrition. Among students AND teachers?

Anonymous

Three things:

One, does anyone know the exact definition of soda in this context? For instance, as a member of the youth demographic, I just drank an energy drink that has 87 grams of sugar in it. Energy drinks, from this perspective, are just as, if not more harmful for today's youth consumers because they sell them advertising the vitamin content and the dramatic energy boost found within the beverage.

The second thing that I wanted to point out is that the Texas Education Agency and the state legislature banned the sale of soft drinks in Texas public schools some time ago. However one negative side effect is that Texas public schools can no longer derive any profit from the sales of soda and candy in their schools. At first this may sound mercenary on the part of the schools, but the money they earned inevitably went back to the students in some form or fashion (probably physical resources).

Lastly, alternatives to soda that are sold in convenience stores and supermarkets seem to cost, on average, significantly more. I don't see that a 10% tax on sodas would raise their price enough to make them less appealing than, say, healthier sports drinks.

Anonymous

While I agree that a soda tax by itself will do little to reduce obesity, I question the statement that the "really harmful effects to overweight children will not usually kick in for another 25 or more years..." There are plenty of studies showing that overweight children are teased more, have fewer friends, and date less frequently than lower weight children and that these differences can have serious negative consequences for their mental health and attachment to schooling in the short and long term. Physical health problems associated with obesity are showing up at younger ages as well - high blood pressure and diabetes for example.

Anonymous

if the health insurance system was allowed to function properly without tremendous gov't intervention and mandates then those that are obese would have to bear the costs of their actions BY PAYING HIGHER PREMIUMS. But alas our "well meaning" legislators think that they are all knowing and can control everything

Anonymous

Anon 12:50? I don't think there is any legislation preventing such pricing. But! Then do we find out who is a skier? rides motorcycles? Spends more time in cars than the average? Has a genetic disposition?

Nah! Cheaper by FAR to QUIT sorting and attempting to cherry pick. After all we KNOW that we are not going to deny H/C to many, so we may as well all be in the same pool; imagine the savings to be had by not haggling or litigating over whose bill etc.

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There are plenty of studies showing that overweight children are teased more, have fewer friends, and date less frequently than lower weight children and that these differences can have serious negative consequences for their mental health and attachment to schooling in the short and long term. Physical health problems associated with obesity are showing up at younger ages as well - high blood pressure and diabetes for example.

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Obesity has other causes, as well, outside of overeating. There is a strong psychological factor, for example, to consider. Children who have been sexually abused are more likely to exhibit disordered eating, such as binge eating, as a way to adapt to the trauma.

Taxing soda or fatty foods may only address the symptoms of a much larger set of social issues at play here.

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