‘Soda Tax’ Impact: Residents 40 Percent Less Likely to Drink Sugary Soda After New Tax

The impact of a Philadelphia tax on nonalcoholic sweetened beverages that went into effect in January 2017 is impressive: So far, reports show that residents are 40 percent less likely to drink a sugary beverage each day, compared to choices they made before the tax. According to the Inquisitr, residents now are 58 percent more likely to choose bottled water instead. Another interesting finding was that there was no change in consumption of sugar-added fruit drinks.

I see good news and bad news in this report. First, the good news: Faced with paying a hefty tax for indulging in a sugary beverage, people will opt to pay for water instead. And, any time someone opts for water over sugar is a good thing. So what’s the bad news? The tax apparently didn’t sway anyone from sugar-added fruit juices. Another bad news item: Bottled water comes with its own set of drawbacks.

First, bottled water may not be the pure spring water it says it is, as evidenced by a lawsuit accusing Nestle of mislabeling groundwater as spring water. And second, using bottled water doesn’t protect you from contaminants: Studies show that the bottles not only may contain phthalates, but the water may even be contaminated with microplastics. Not only that, disposal of the bottles when you’ve finished your drink adds to the world’s growing problem with plastics that are polluting landfills, oceans and other waterways.

For these reasons I strongly recommend filtering your water at home to reduce exposure to contaminants, chlorine and fluoride, all of which may damage your health, and then carrying a refillable container, preferably glass, for your thirst needs. This will help you avoid a sugar tax at the same time you’re watching out for your own health as well as the health of the environment. Ideally, your best bet is to filter the water at both the point of entry into your home and the point of use. This means installing filters where water enters your home and again at your kitchen sink and showers.

And, finally, since this report seems to imply that it’s soda that was impacted by the tax, remember that you should also limit your daily intake of juices, as fruits contain heavy doses of fructose even before sugar is added, making them just as sugar-laden as soda.
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