Ronald Brak

Because not everyone can be normal.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

That's a lot of Soft Drink

Hey everybody! Look at this paragraph I found in an article on MSN. The article is called, "The Fat Tax: A Controversial Tool in War Against Obesity." It's by Alan Mozes, Health day reporter. The paragraph reads:

Brownell emphasized that, if properly implemented, fat taxes could yield major benefits. For example, slapping a single penny tax onto the cost of soft drinks across the country would generate almost $1.5 billion annually -- a figure that far exceeds the budgets of current government-sponsored nutrition programs, he said.

This is incredible. That means Americans are consuming 150 billion soft drinks a year. That's an average of nearly two soft drinks a day for every American. If we assume that half of Americans rarely or never drink soft drink that means half of the U.S. is scarfing almost four softdrinks a day. And soft drinks servings aren't small in America. If that's four American sized 600ml bottles of coke then that's about 4,250 kilojoules of soft drink everyday, or about a third of an American's caloric intake. That's a lot of softdrink. Even if half of it consists of diet drinks it's still enough kilojoules to prevent undernutrition in perhaps 200 million of the world's poorest people, although it wouldn't do much for their teeth or their vitamin intake.

Or is it possible that the article is just throwing numbers around without even bothering to check if they are realistic? I really, really hope that these numbers aren't realistic.


At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Assuming that half of Americans rarely or never dink soft drinks is a very dangerous assumption. It's cheaper than milk, juice or bottled water - and they guzzle it down like..well...soft drinks.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Ronald Brak said...

I assumed that a lot of older people, a large swack of the immigrant community and the health conscious wouldn't be into soft drinks, but perhaps half is too large an estimate? Time to get on the phone and randomly poll some Americans, I think!

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

Unfortunately the the consumption of soft drinks is related to socio-economics. They're cheaper to buy than juice or milk and people belonging to the "lower-classes" (majority of immigrants belong to this class)often don't have the educational background to realize the dangers of massive pop consumption or they just have more important things to worry about.


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