We grow up on sugar, and it’s in almost all of our food. There are sugars hidden in common foods that we eat every day. The highest amount of sugar consumed is in soft drinks and juices, and this is why a large part of part of the diabetic population in Canada has doubled in the last twelve years, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.
On September 2, the association made an announcement calling on federal leaders to support a tax on any sugar drinks attached to Type Two diabetes. The association wishes to reduce the rates of people living with diabetes by deterring people from drinking sugary drinks.
The association pointed to other countries, such as the U.S, Mexico and France that had the tax already in place, and Mexico especially has seen a decrease by six percent since January 2014.
Diabetes is a very large contributor to strokes and heart diseases. The proposal has the support of the Childhood Obesity Foundation and The Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Medical Association because of the impact of sugary drinks on people’s health.
On the Cantech Letter’s article about the sugar drink tax, The Canadian Medical Association President Dr. Cindy Forbes said, “Encouraging healthy lifestyle choices through the implementation of new policies to promote better health is the right approach. We support the taxation of sugar sweetened beverages, recognizing the link between excessive consumption and type 2 diabetes.”
However, many people on online forums and the Canadian Beverage Association have said taxation isn’t the proper way to influence consumers to make healthy choices. The association contacted CBC news on September 24 to share their opinions on the sugar tax. “Evidence shows that education, not increased grocery cart taxes, is the key to improving public health, and the beverage industry has strong programs that support calorie awareness,” said Jim Goetz, the CBA president, in an emailed statement.
While the sugar tax is effective in other countries, sugar is in everything and many people will still consume it anyway. Many people would still buy their favourite drinks despite there being a 10 percent tax.
Most kids, teens, and adults like to drink their favourite soda along with every meal. Yet, they are only concerned with the calories and the carbs, but the sugar is not what people look at. Telling people the cause and effect, and how much sugar you consume everyday will give them the knowledge they need to avoid their sugary drinks or at least drink in moderation. Because there isn’t enough education on sugar, many associations feel the need to tax only so more people can be concerned with the effects of sugar.