Berkeley, Calif. has become the first U.S. city to pass a law taxing sugary drinks, with more than three-quarters of voters Tuesday backing a 1-cent-an-ounce tax on soft drinks.
Proponents of the measure say the tax will curb the consumption of sodas, energy drinks and sweetened teas which are contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic and Type 2 diabetes. Harvard researchers found in a 2013 study that increasing the price of a 20 oz. soda by 20 cents led to a 16% sales drop. But critics say such measures are nanny statism, and remove consumer choice.
I – Word Understanding
proponents – a person who supports something
nanny statism – overprotective and interfering with personal choice
II – Have Your Say
1. Have you heard of initiatives around the world to fight obesity?
Oklahoma – For every 20 minutes a child in the program is active, they will receive $1.
Dubai – For every 2 kgs lost (about 4.4 pounds), contestants win two grams of gold
2. Obesity in children raises their risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and overweight girls in their late teens could later develop psychological problems.