Nutrition

Chicago’s Soda Tax: You’ll Save Much More Than a Penny

Chicago’s Beverage Tax: You’ll Save Much More Than a Penny

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Cutting Down on Sugar Can Lead to Better Health

Sugar: America’s most addictive substance. Chicago is cracking down by imposing a one cent per ounce tax on all retail soda beverages. While this may have been met with grumbles and sad faces from the many consumers who purchase these drinks as part of their daily diet, the tax may have a bright silver lining. It can help lead you to make healthier diet choices.

Liquid sugar found in soda is the number one source of added sugar and makes up 36% of the added sugar American’s consume.

Added sugar, compared to natural sugar, can significantly increase your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, obesity and more. Recommendations for sugar consumption are (at most) 36 grams of sugar a day for men and no more than 24 grams a day for women. A single can of a regular soft drink contains 38 grams of sugar, which surpasses both men’s and women’s total recommended sugar intake.

Liquid sugar comes with zero fiber, so it’s quickly released into the bloodstream, giving your body a bigger, faster dose of sugar than it can handle. If your body is consistently dealing with this type of sugar overload day in and day out, it might mean an increased risk of liver disease, heart disease and diabetes.

Instead of reaching for the carbonated beverage, try replacing soda with naturally flavored water or sparkling water and reach for a piece of fresh fruit or natural honey for sweeteners.

Worry for the public’s health in regards to added sugars is not solely based in Chicago. Cities such as Seattle and San Francisco have also implemented a sugary drink tax. The American Heart Association, World Health Organization and other health authorities have begun to warn the public about the health effects of excessive added sugar, especially in terms of the risk it poses to cardiovascular health.

Although the locally termed “pop tax” may not be favorable to those who need that fizzy drink to perk up in the morning, the tax should come as a healthy wake-up call.

Cutting sugar from your diet reduces your chances for serious health problems such as kidney disease and obesity, plus you might even find a new favorite choice in the beverage aisle.

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