Taxing Sugary Drinks

A new "obesity tax" is targeting soft drinks because research shows sodas are one of the main contributors to childhood obesity.

Does taxing regular soda seem fair to you? Well, New York Governor Patterson thinks it might help. With one in four New Yorkers under the age of 18 considered obese, Patterson is proposing an "obesity tax" to help change eating habits and funnel some extra money into the state budget.

This tax is targeting soft drinks because research shows sodas are one of the main contributors to childhood obesity. Patterson's proposal is to add a 15% mark-up on all non-diet drinks sold in New York. This would include popular drinks such as Coke, Pepsi, Sprite and Snapple beverages. You might pay $1 for a Diet Coke, but pick up its full-calorie cousin and that's $1.15.

I have experience counseling obese children in New York, and I've seen first hand that soda drinking is high with kids. Typically during a visit, I help a kid set a few goals. The first step is changing to non-calorie beverages -- water and seltzer primarily and then supplementing that with diet sodas and sugar-free beverages in moderation (no more than one cup per day). I've seen kids make this simple switch and lose a few pounds within a couple of weeks. It's really amazing what a small change like this can do.

What are your thoughts on the "obesity tax" proposal? Do you think we can get people to give up those high calorie, sugary drinks?

Next Up

5 Surprisingly Sugary Foods

It may not surprise anyone that a 20-ounce bottle of soda can contain anywhere from 15 to 22 teaspoons of sugar per serving, but sugar is also lurking in less obvious places.

Nutrition News: Sugary Drinks Are a Killer, Unhealthy Restaurant Food, When to Eat Bread

Sugary drinks are killing us, restaurant meals no healthier than fast food, why you should eat your bread last.

Nutrition News: EWG Exposes Sugary Cereals

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) weighed in today with a new report on sugar-filled cereals. Are you feeding your kids dessert for breakfast?

Drink Floaters

You can't have a pool party without your floaters--liqueurs that float on the top of your drink! The Kitchen has 3 frozen cocktail floater ideas perfect for poolside sipping.

50 Summer Drinks

Drink up! Food Network Magazine made enough sodas, shakes and cocktails to last all season.

50 Holiday Drinks

Get in the spirit with cocktails, punch, cocoa and more.

Frozen Drinks, but Healthier

Less sugar. Lots of flavor.

Best Keto Alcohol Drinks

Yes, you can drink alcohol on the keto diet.

Let Them Drink Cake

Toast Mardi Gras with a drink inspired by New Orleans' signature treat: king cake.

Drinks by the Numbers

For this year’s December issue, Food Network Magazine took the guesswork out of figuring out how much alcohol to buy for your holiday soiree.

Related Pages