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Oliver, a British national, took to the CBC radio program The Q to say that both the UK and Canada need a national tax on sugary beverages. He says kids, particularly those who come from underprivileged backgrounds, are growing up living a far too unhealthy lifestyle. Would a tax change that behaviour?
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They're coming first for your devilish Coca-Cola and Pepsi. But they aren't stopping there. They also want taxes on sugary fruit juice (you sinister Sun-Rype suckers!), and anything else that tastes slightly better than water. It won't end -- because big government types truly believe higher taxes can solve every problem -- there's no evidence it will work.
Pop may become the new tobacco: still consumed by the few (and should be fewer) but spurned by the many. We'll need to watch and wait. Meanwhile advocates (including myself) might do better to focus more time and energy on other regulatory interventions to promote health. The industry may be its own undoing.
When British Columbians rejected the HST in the 2011 referendum, they were promised things would go back to the PST normal. But an independent panel has recommended adding taxes to things that virtually every B.C. family buys -- a plan that will increase our already sky-high cost of living.
The media has jumped on a paper that has supposedly found a link between taxing "junk food" and a reduction in obesity. News flash: this is old news. We know that simplistic top-down approaches such as taxation or public announcements telling us to exercise and eat our vegetables don't work.
Only you can manage your own diet and your own calorie intake. No government, no restaurant, no physician can do it for you. It's this complexity that makes personal health responsibility so important in reversing the obesity epidemic.
Obesity has become a "collective" issue that presumably concerns us all. Just last week, a coalition of health and education experts repeated their call for the Quebec government to introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks and so-called "energy drinks."