Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »
Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

See all posts »

New York City Proposes Soda Tax

I blogged yesterday about how New York City is leading the country by legislating changes in restaurants and food companies to improve the health of it's citizens. They have banned trans fat, required calories to be listed on menus, started advertising campaigns against sugary drinks, and the recently announced that they are calling for less sodium in foods.

Now New York Governor David Paterson brought back a proposal (which was rejected last year) to add a tax to sugared beverages. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in favor of the tax. The tax would be a penny for every ounce of sugared soda sold in the city.

The mayor told a state senate committee yesterday that this will help work on the obesity epidemic and provide revenue for the city. He quoted obesity statistics stating, "It's in the interest of us all to prevent that form happening now--and the surest pathway to changing behavior is through the wallet."

What do you think about city, state, or federal government adding taxes to junk foods to try to control your weight? Is that too big brother? Do you think an extra 12 cents per can of soda would prevent you from purchasing it? You can bet that the soda companies are not pleased with this idea.

While I am not a fan of extra sugar added to the diet with liquid calories, I am not sure this tax is the answer. Regular sodas definitely contribute "empty calories," meaning they have calories without any nutritional value. However, I still firmly believe that we need to be responsible for our own choices. Regular soda can be consumed in moderation without contributing to obesity. Those people who drink it and are able to balance their calories with activity should not have to pay more for one of their pleasures in life. I love chocolate and I do not want to see a chocolate tax just because it contains high amounts of sugar and saturated fat. I am a healthy weight and have healthy levels of cholesterol and I am relatively responsible with my chocolate consumption. And if I wasn't responsible with my consumption, it is my own responsibility to fix. I can tell you that paying a few more pennies for my chocolate will not change my consumption.

I don't claim to have all of the answers and I support most of the recent legislation which assists people in making healthier choices. But I just don't think taxing high calorie foods is the answer.

  • 1

Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition Trends

Was this article helpful? Yes No

Recommended for You

  • Let's Talk About Chili

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Nov 09, 2012

    I’m sure we may all have a special memory that involves chili. This warm dish often signifies fall and cool weather; it warms you up from the inside out. Maybe you had chili while sitting snuggling by the fire, a chili cheese dog right after a ...

    Read more »

  • Bites for a Healthy Pregnancy

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Oct 31, 2012

    Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, but it doesn’t come without its challenges, especially if it’s your first. I remember hearing all sorts of pregnancy advice and old wives tales during my pregnancy from well meaning family and friends, but ...

    Read more »

  • Family Dinner Time

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Oct 29, 2012

    Growing up, my family always sat down to dinner to eat together. It was a time to catch up on our days and discuss anything that was going on at school or in after school activities. I definitely feel like this made our family closer and we wer...

    Read more »

  • Healthy Fall Flavors

    By: Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N
    Oct 26, 2012

    We’re in the heart of the fall with leaves changing and falling lightly to the ground. This time of year also provides some uniquely fall flavors packed in nutrition and good taste. Here are some of my favorite fall foods -- try to incorporate ...

    Read more »


About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

Recent Blog Posts