Touch the Soil News #641 (feature photo – soda case in a grocery store – CC SA 3.0)
While raising some of your own food can aid in health and exercise, avoiding processed foods are also part of the equation.
News and research on the effects of sugar have gone viral in many instances, partially due to the correlation to obesity. And obesity means higher health care costs – some of which is born by governments. Globally, the number of people who are overweight and obese has increased over the last three decades. Estimates are that in 1980, around 29 percent of people were overweight. Today, the rate is hovering around 38 percent. The future looks dim as overweight and obesity are estimated to climb dramatically.
On the horizon are entire nations implementing sugary drink (soda) taxes – seeking to curb the consumption of sugar (artificial sweeteners) and thereby curbing health risks. Following is the status of nations and U.S. cities implementing a sugary drink tax:
France – initiated a sugary tax in 2012 – population 67 million
Hungary – initiated a sugary tax in 2011 – population 10 million
Mexico – initiated a sugary tax in 2013 – population 120 million
United Kingdom – initiated a sugary tax in 2016 – population 65 million
South Africa – plans are to initiate a sugary tax in 2017 – population 55 million
Philadelphia (USA) – initiated a sugary tax in 2016 – population 1.6 million
San Francisco (USA) – initiated a sugary tax in 2016 – population 1 million
Oakland, California (USA) – initiated a sugary tax in 2016 – population .5 million
Boulder, Colorado (USA) – initiated a sugary tax in 2016 – population .1 million
Cook County, Illinois (USA) initiated a sugary tax in 2016 – population 5.2 million
Seattle, Washington (USA) is seeking a sugary tax in 2017 – population .7 million
To date, the sugary tax affects some 326 million people – roughly the equivalent of the population of the United States.