It has been widely known that America has an obesity epidemic, so this has people looking for answers. This election season, four cities have a proposed tax on soda and other sugary drinks in hopes that the added financial obstacle will deter people away from consuming unhealthy products. Proponents of the tax believe that it would raise the price of the drinks by 100 percent of the tax amount, thus discouraging Americans to purchase said products. But, the results from an already taxed city may be discouraging some supporters instead.


The Research

A recent study conducted at Cornell University outlined that the tax implemented on Berkeley, CA was not as high as initially expected. Prices only rose by a mere 43.1 percent of the tax amount. Plus, stores near untaxed rivals were not likely to pass the taxes on to the consumer. This raises the question as to whether or not city level taxes are actually effective or will just be another tax not serving its purpose.


If you live in San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, or Boulder, then you may want to read further into the pros and cons of the proposed tax. Be an informed voter and read more here.


The Epidemic

There aren’t many individuals who would argue against tackling the obesity epidemic; and let’s not forget about diabetes. You might wonder if it can truly be called an epidemic. Looking at the facts, it is undoubtedly an issue that should be at the forefront. The National Institutes of Health reported that more than one in every three adults are considered obese. That’s an enormous fact to swallow, but it is the reality. Whether or not this tax does what it should, there’s no doubt that obesity is an issue that needs increased attention.


What Can You Do? 

Even if you don’t live in one of these states proposing a sugary tax, you can take the reigns on your personal health with a few healthy habits. The two primary areas of focus for a healthy lifestyle revolve around maintaining a healthy weight and balancing food and activity.


You want to maintain a healthy weight to benefit your overall health and prevent serious issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, gallstones, and even certain cancers. To maintain weight you need about the same energy out as the energy in. And to lose weight, you need more energy out than energy in. So, limit the time you are physically inactive, reduce your daily calorie intake by about 500 if you are struggling with obesity, maintain a healthy diet regardless, and be physically active.


More information on balancing your energy, suggested calorie intake, and ideal physical activity can be found here.


Always consult a health care professional before making any drastic adjustments to your lifestyle as they can give you specific objectives, pointers, or precautions that you might need to take into consideration. If you are struggling with obesity, take your first steps today by moving away from sugary beverages despite the presence or nonexistence of a soda tax. Live a healthy lifestyle now for an enjoyable future.