Well, this is kind of a loaded question. Especially if you hate soft drinks too, and hate heart disease and diabetes, you may not see anything WRONG with the idea to ban or tax soda. Just one 12-ounce can has 40 to 50 grams of sugar in it, and dietary guidelines say that this is the absolute maximum people should be consuming in a day, if not less.
So maybe we could do something like ban EVERY product that has the daily recommendation of sugar, or more, in a single serving?
After all, the company (Mars) that makes M&Ms, Twix and Snickers is considering taking its product out of McDonald's McFlurries, because a single serving of this exceeds the recommended daily sugar intake.
(Wow, how health-conscious of the company. I guess…)
And this example shows a recent larger trend in companies trying to reflect a slightly healthier lifestyle, so that they don't get bad publicity and risk losing consumers!
This example also shows how it's possible to take the unhealthiest foods, like the M&M McFlurry at 86 grams of sugar per serving, off the menu!
But if companies refuse to take crazy-sugary products off the shelf, should the government do it for them??
Honestly, I don't think the government should ban soft drinks, not least because there would be mass riots, and it DOES seem like an infringement of personal freedom!
The reason I'm personally so PRO taxing sodas is that we've already proved that that helps reduce consumption. Take Philadelphia as an example. After the mayor instituted a tax on sugary drinks (about 1 1/2 cents per ounce), there was actually 30% less sodas purchased! That ended up equating to an average of about 10 whole sodas less per person per month.
But yeah, of course people are going to drink less soda if it becomes more expensive…So the REAL question becomes, "Do we have the right to impose a 'sin tax' on something unhealthy, and basically making decisions for people, instead of letting them make the decision themselves?"
Well personally, I can think of one good solution for that moral issue: the revenue from taxing sugary drinks could actually go towards a good cause. So it's not like it would be lining the pockets of the city's richest; instead, the tax money could be used to fund schools, or programs that would give people access to free or reduced-price healthy items!
I think that's pretty awful. These companies know what they're doing to people…they know that they're causing diabetes and heart disease…and yet they're willing to do it as long as they make money.
So personally, I'm all for taxing sugary drinks, not just to encourage people to be healthier, but also to use that money to help out communities that need it, instead of making rich companies richer.