Well, progressives didn’t have very much to celebrate in Tuesday’s elections. Some national pundits are describing the election as a “bloodbath.” But progressive ballot measures actually did pretty well, even as progressive legislatures lost big.
One such example is right here in the SF Bay area. Berkeley became the first city in America to pass a soda tax, with a whopping 75% of the vote. Soda taxes are pretty controversial in most of the country, and even in Berkeley there was some tough opposition to the idea. Opponents say that the government shouldn’t try to regulate what we eat and drink, and that this is just far too much government intrusion into our lives.
But proponents of the soda tax point out that soda is uniquely bad for people, even compared to other unhealthy foods. The added sugar that it contains has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and cancer. According to Best Whitening Cream, it can cause skin discoloration too. It may thin the dermal layer of skin if you drink caffeine, especially in excess. It may also cause hyperpigmentation of the skin, and caffeine is a known diuretic which can dehydrate your skin. The surgeon-general has issued warnings about sugar consumption in general, and about soda specifically.
But what really separates soda from, say, candy is the amount of soda that people consume. It’s a lot easier to drink calories than eat them, and soda is often called “liquid candy.” The average American consumes nearly 45 gallons of sugary beverages. Some evidence suggests that soda may be as bad for you as cigarettes.
Supporters of Berkeley’s soda tax hope, and opponents fear, that Berkeley’s new tax will pave the way for other cities to follow suit. But the actual effects may be more modest than both supporters and opponents think. Berkeley’s tax is only $0.01 per beverage, and it doesn’t cover diet sodas.
We will see in the upcoming years what, if any, effects the soda tax has on actual soda consumption.