Over the past couple months, Chicago and Illinois government have been pushing for a tax on soda and sugary drinks. This tax would charge the consumer 1¢ per ounce of liquid. This tax was expected to bring an extra $200 million to the city of Chicago. While this tax is on hold due to a temporary restraining order on it, the city of Chicago is angry at what the city government is trying to do. I, on the other hand, think this is a great opportunity for the city and the residents of Chicago.
While I don't live in the city, I find that there are more benefits to this tax then there are negatives. Most people are upset because this tax would prevent them from enjoying their artificial fruit drinks and syrupy sodas, but this could be a good thing. By imposing this tax on the city, some people may find that spending extra money on something as unhealthy as soda, might not be a good idea. By doing so, people might decide to skip the soda and just go for water instead.
There is a large and growing epidemic in our country and there are two parts, diabetes and obesity. In America, just under 40% of people are considered obese by the CDC and almost 30% of Americans are diabetic. These illnesses stem from a multitude of things such as lack or exercise, lack of education about the matter at hand, and poor diet. One big thing about having a poor diet is just simply living in America. In America, people, on average, tend to consume around 128 grams of sugar per day. This doesn't seem like a big number at all until you put it next to a country like France where the average is around 65 grams per day and when you see the daily recommended intake (DRI) for sugar of around 35 grams for a male and 25 grams for a female. All of the sugar that we are consuming is causing illness all over the country, but where does all of this sugar come from you might ask? That's right, soda. So back to my point, by imposing this soda tax on the city of Chicago, the people who look for cheap drinks at the supermarket such as Pepsi or Coke, might think twice about buying it, not necessarily with health in mind, but the amount of money that they would spend on it. Now this wouldn't completely solve our health crisis but I might tweak it just a little bit. I feel as if this tax would be huge for the health of the city of Chicago.
On the other hand, while making our city healthier, this tax will make the city of Chicago lots of money, which would be huge considering that the city is $63 billion in debt. By hiking up the tax rate for soda and sugary drinks, the city could make upwards of $200 million dollars, now I know this wouldn't help much, but trust me, it will help. For the people willing to spend that extra few cents on drinks, they could help the city out tremendously and considering that a majority of the people live, work, and visit there, I'm sure they wouldn't mind helping out the city.
While the soda tax is on hold, I still feel strongly about it. I feel that it could contribute to our lives and the city itself in so many ways. For the people who protest the tax, realize what it could do for our city and realize that it could only do good things for your family, yourself, and the city that you love.