|"So much for the the 99cent special"|
Laredoans, don't be surprised if the price you pay for a Coke goes up soon. Let's say you go for the turbo-chug or even the very popular 32 ounce fountain drink, it will now simultaneously add to your weight while subtracting more from your wallet. This is because a soda tax is one of the options being considered to curtail the obesity epidemic in our country. Of course, this includes Laredo.
But why stop at sodas? Perhaps bigger sizes of clothes should also be taxed, thereby encouraging the purchaser(s) to lose weight and save money. It would go something like this :
customer: Hi, I'm looking for a pair of Levi blue jeans. How much do they cost?
salesperson: Well, it all depends....what size are you looking for?
customer: Well, a friend of mine said she got them here for about $30 bucks.
salesperson: Oh yea, I remember her about a week ago, she's the skinny one in town right?
customer: Wha...? I was asking about the price.
salesperson: OH ok, well I won't know until you tell me what size but I'm guessing from looking at you that....hmmmm.....they'll probably run you close to a hundred bucks with the new fat tax?
customer: Nambre! Que tienes?? I'll just forget about the jeans and buy myself a few parrilladas!
Oh I almost forgot , here's the article from Reuter's
America's obesity epidemic is so deeply rooted that it will take dramatic and systemic measures -- from overhauling farm policies and zoning laws to, possibly, introducing a soda tax -- to fix it, the influential Institute of Medicine said on Tuesday.
"People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese," committee member Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine told Reuters. "That advice will never be out of date. But when you see the increase in obesity you ask, what changed? And the answer is, the environment. The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment."
The panel identifies taxing sugar-sweetened beverages as a "potential action," noting that "their link to obesity is stronger than that observed for any other food or beverage."
A 2011 study estimated that a penny-per-ounce tax could reduce per capita consumption by 24 percent. As a Reuters report described last month, vigorous lobbying by the soda industry crushed recent efforts to impose such a tax in several states, including New York.
"I do not think in any way, shape or form that such punitive measures will change behaviors," said Rhona Applebaum, Coca-Cola Co.'s chief scientific and regulatory officer. Anyone deterred by the tax from buying sweetened soda, she said, will replace those calories with something else.