We at Sip & Savor are pleased to share an opinion-editorial penned by dietitian Diane Greenleaf that ran in yesterday's Kansas City Star. The piece focuses on the ineffectiveness of soft drink taxes in solving the problem of obesity.
Ms. Greenleaf explains that soft drink taxes are a misguided policy that neglects to address the numerous other factors involved in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. In fact, 94.5 percent of American’s caloric intake comes from other foods and beverages. So simply placing a tax on this minuscule part of the diet misses the mark.
Our weight is kept in check by our overall caloric intake - the sum of all the foods that we eat each day, each week and each month. And, it's also controlled by all of the opportunities we seize to burn calories, whether working out at a gym or walking the long way home instead of taking the shortcut.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is one of the many organizations dedicated to improving health. And they encourage people to visit their "Small Steps" Web site to learn simple and easy ways to eat better and incorporate physical activity into our daily lives.
The beverage industry is a willing partner in helping Americans to be more informed about their dietary decisions. In fact, just last month in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let’s Move" anti-obesity campaign, we made a commitment to label the calorie information of our products more clearly, ensuring that usable information will be available to consumers right at their fingertips.
As Mrs. Obama said, and Greenleaf repeated in her article yesterday, Americans can lead healthier lives through "better nutrition, regular physical exercise and improving communities to support healthy choices." Not through taxes.