As Americans prepare to meet this year’s April 18 deadline to file our taxes, there’s talk of taxes across the Pond, too.
Great Britain just passed a tax on sugary drinks. Unlike similar measures in Mexico and Berkeley, California, the British version may lead to soda manufacturers actually reducing the sugar in their products.
I feel ambivalent about soda taxes. While soda contributes nothing to nutrition and plenty to diabetes, soda taxes fall hardest on the poor.
Part of me says that if a small tax can really cut soda consumption, then it’s worth it.
For instance, in Mexico — the nation with the highest rate of soda consumption in the world — a 10 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages led to a 12 percent drop in soda sales in its first year.
But I’d prefer finding other strategies, like removing vending machines from schools or ending junk food marketing to kids. What if sodas were no longer included with Happy Meals?