We here at Sip & Savor came across a column which ran in the Wall Street Journal, written by an economics professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo named Michael Marlow. In the piece, Marlow covers recent proposals to tax or ban soda and why they are not the right approach to addressing the complex issue of obesity. He writes:
“As an economist, I have two big gripes with such paternalistic public-health initiatives: The proposals aren't grounded in data or compelling economic models, and soda taxes might catalyze a dismal chain reaction, with escalating government intrusions on personal freedom.”
Even though Marlow’s review of these proposals finds no scientific evidence to support their intended purpose, he doesn’t completely rule out government’s role in encourage balanced and active lifestyles:
“Is there a legitimate role for government in battling obesity? Perhaps. Authorities can encourage private initiatives around exercise and dieting. They can promote more bicycle lanes. But they should stay out of the business of trying to alter behavior for people's own good.”
We agree with Mr. Marlow’s assessment that taxes and bans won’t make anyone healthier. It’s by coming together within our communities that we can have a pronounced and lasting impact. Just take a look at our Clear on Calories and School Beverage Guidelines initiatives.