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    Should pizza and soda be taxed?
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP posted:
    It's all over the front pages of our newspapers and on national news. Some researchers said that if we taxed soda and pizza at 18% then the result would be people would drop 5 pounds in one year. They feel that imposing a "sin tax" that we could make big headway with the obesity epidemic. Others say, hey wait a minute, this is a slippery slope. Today pizza, tomorrow doughnuts?

    OK, let's hear it from everyone. What say you out there? Will taxing foods and beverages help reverse obesity?
    Dr Peeke
    jis4judy responded:
    Hi Dr Peeke
    I don;t think that would work to stop people from eating something it would just make them angry ... people don;t stop drinking hard drink because there is a tax I doubt they would stop eating pizza and drinking soda by adding taxes, besides in Ma. we allready tax foods eaten in a restaraunt . that doesn;t stop anyone from eating out ...
    Hugs Judy:)
    Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Both are taxed here-it isn't doing a thing to reduce obesity as far as I can tell from looking around.

    Why tax pizza though? It can be a very healthy choice. l
    jis4judy replied to Louise_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Your right louise I think pizza can be included in a healthy plan too.

    Hugs Judy:)
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to jis4judy's response:
    Well, your responses seem to be right in line with the blogosphere. There was a research article that just came out in the Archives of Internal Medicine in which the researchers recommended taxing food to disincentivize people. Wow and what a tax at 18%. They noted people could drop 5 pounds in a year as a result. I'm sorry but you could drop that in a month by simply moving more. And, you're completely correct. There's nothing wrong with moderation in everything, pizza and soda included. We need to educate people about healthy options and we also need to emphasize moderation in everything.

    What do others think out there? Should we be taxing pizza and soda?

    Dr Peeke
    DisHammerhand responded:
    The government gets enough of our money, it doesn't need more.

    People would still eat the stuff any way.

    I avoid pizza myself -high carb, high fat and a magical ability to keep blood sugars elevated for hours keeps it from appearing on any of my menus.
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to DisHammerhand's response:
    Thanks for your posting and a great point.

    What about more folks out there commenting? Does anyone out there think that this tax will help obesity?
    What do you think the tax money will be spent on--- obesity programs or what?


    Dr Peeke
    laura2gemini2 responded:
    The government has heavily taxed cigaretts, and yet people are still smoking. Gasoline is heavily taxed, and people are still driving.Adding a tax to things the government considers a "sin" will make no difference.

    Next they may tax salt because it causes high blood pressure, or red meat because it causes high cholesterol, or anything made for fast food in general.
    Icandoanything responded:
    Dear People: I think it's time everyone stopped blaming various foods and drinks for their weight problems! It's time everyone took responsibility for their own actions. Get off of that couch and MOVE; if you want a soft drink or a so-called "unhealthy" snack, have it IN MODERATION. It's not the food and drink's fault that you eat the whole bag of chips rather than a sensible amount. It's not the food and drink's fault that you sit on the couch all day playing Playstation rather than doing absolutely anything that gets you moving. People need to look to themselves for causing their own weight gain and that of their children. It's not the fast food industry and snack food industry that's causing the weight problem - it's the people who lack self control who are causing their own weight problem.
    onceuponatimeinalandfaraway responded:
    Really? What about agency? We live in a free country where people should be able to choose what they eat, even if those choices make them obese. We're going to start giving control of what we eat (via high taxes) to the government? I completely disagree. Americans should be able to make their own choices but be prepared to accept the consequences of those choices.
    catamago responded:
    I do not think this is a fair practice. I gave up soda, tea and all sugar drinks for more than a year and I didn't lose an ounce. I believe it all depends on how your body is. I know very thin people who only drink soda and are healthy. Why should they pay the extra tax. Why should I if I only have one a month, or when I dine out? I feel the more imortant thing is to stop making foods with artificial ingredients and preservatives. Has anyone looked into this?
    MSGRANDONI responded:
    It is NOT a slippery slope. Just for the record, New York is NOT taxing pizza, so why are you even mentioning it? You are just playing with people's emotions.
    I am a nutritionist in the Bronx where obesity rates are soaring and where mothers put ice tea in infants bottles, where 10 yr olds are type 2 diabetics, where people who don't have a lot of money, spend a lot of money on sodas, where liters of soda, juice, etc are drunk daily. That translates to a lot more than 5 pounds/year. Sugar drinks should definately be taxed. It is a courageous thing to do.
    You're a doctor??????

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