What Can the Government Do to Help Americans Consume Less Sugar?

It’s a well known fact that obesity in America is on the rise, but what can be done on a large scale? Individually and even in specific townships and localities, Americans are definitely trying to lose weight and become healthier. But perhaps a larger change needs to occur, and this may mean that the government needs to get involved.


Many people fear the nanny state situation in which the government has its hands in the personal matters of its free citizens. This is the main argument against any federal or state laws that could help motivate citizens to become healthier. But the alternative is letting the masses become overweight and obese, which causes serious problems on individual, familial, communal and national levels.


One of the biggest problems with widespread obesity is that it causes healthcare costs to skyrocket. Many people who are overweight and obese struggle with parallel health issues, such as high blood pressure and certain types of cancers. In turn, this causes these individuals to need extra medical care and more time away from work. All of us carry this burden.


Research also shows that many people who are severely overweight and obese tend to have mental health woes, including chronic depression.


Let the Government Step In


It is possible for the government to step in where obesity and health issues are concerned. First of all, when the government gets involved, it’s something that is forced upon the citizens, and it can motivate everyone in a way that cannot be self-induced. One suggestion in this arena is a soda tax.


Soda taxes would put an added percentage onto each can, bottle or glass of soda sold in the United States. Just like taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, this tax would ideally deter citizens from purchasing too many sugary drinks. In turn, the taxes that were reaped from this legislation would be used to help curb overweight, obesity and general unhealthy living in the United States.


The decision has not been made on whether this legislation has gone forth, but some cities and states are trying to initiate it.