Monday, March 1, 2010


When we went to the grocery store over the weekend, we discovered that if we would purchase beer, it would be cheaper than purchasing brand name soda pop. Something is wrong with that fact and now the price is going up in some areas to help fight obesity and other health concerns.

Health issues are increasing at an alarming rate and the focus is now on sugary drinks. Let's face facts here, though, soda pop isn't the only factor to blame. Something that is so obvious to anyone paying attention in the food stores is that if you buy products that are good for you, like whole wheat pastas and bread, you will pay a lot more than if you buy the white, unhealthy varieties.

Same for the better cuts of meat, the ones with less fat cost much more per pound. Hamburger prices increase dramatically as the fat content decreases. Want to buy healthy foods? We all know to shop for high fiber, low sugar, and fresher products. Been to Whole Food Market lately? I've been and eventually walk away realizing that to shop healthy demands a much healthier bank account than I currently own.

So, the solution to childhood obesity will be to take all the junk food off the school campus and tax the soda in the stores. But until we get the kids up and moving more on the playgrounds, instead of hooked up to something electronic, we are going to see more childhood obesity and health issues.

When the parents provide the food at home, they are working with meager budgets. Yes, it healthier to purchase whole wheat products, organic farm products, and low-fat content meat; however the dollar doesn't stretch like it used to and people have to make a choice of quantity over quality.

Taxing soda pop would be fine with me, if the healthier foods (100% juice for example) were cheaper than the juice flavored drinks. If there will be a sin tax on the "bad food" than bring down the price of the healthy foods.

Here's what some EXPERTS have to say on this issue. Feel free to leave your own experiences or advice on my blog.

Think I'll go and have some sweet tea, while I'm waiting around to hear from you all.


"Advocates of a tax note that sugared beverages are the No. 1 source of calories in the American diet, representing 7 percent of the average person’s caloric intake, according to government surveys, and up to 10 percent for children and teenagers. These calories, they point out, are worse than useless — they’re empty, and contribute to a daily total that is already too high.

“What you want,” says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, “is to reverse the fact that healthy food is too expensive and unhealthy food is too cheap, and the soda tax is a start. Unless food marketing changes, it’s hard to believe that anything else can work.”"


  1. With all apologies to our great former President, George H.W. Bush, read my lips: NO NEW TAXES!

    Not on soda anyway. Where will the taxation-happy wonks in government stop? With Cheetos? With Mars Bars? Or, WILL they? Stop with the friggin' "sin tax" concept. People MUST be responsible for themselves.

    I realize that in many cases, "healthy" food is more expensive than junk food. But if a person is truly poor, there are food pantries, and last time I looked, WIC DOES not cover things such as soda and candy. So there really is no excuse for a parent to serve anything to their child except a healthy (gourmet is not expected) meal. Learning to eat right begins at home and there is NO substitute for that. Self-control must be taught, not legislated.

    I would advise the men in black to keep their grubby little hands off my Coke Zero. It is, after all, sugar-free. Will they tax the diet sodas exactly like the sugared versions? I have not consumed a sugared soda in years, and, let me tell you, that was an extremely hard habit to break. I was able to do it, though, and if I can, so can anybody else. There are healthier alternatives.

    And never forget, my beverage of choice, water FROM THE TAP, is free. Isn't taxation without representation (and I ask you, do you truly feel represented?) a huge part of the reason this great nation was formed in the first place?

  2. Sugar, there are the people who don't qualify for food banks, WIC, food stamps, etc. and every dollar matters when at the grocery store. Because of that "unhealthy" food, such as white pasta is bought, instead of the whole wheat type. More expensive meat has less fat, and so if the food budget is skinny, then the meat is usually fatter. Sometimes the nofat milk is more expensive than whole milk.

    The filling foods of potatoes, bread, rice help when the budget is small and stomaches are empty. Not the best things to eat for health reasons, to be sure, but parents do the best they can when it comes to feeding their families. Fresh fruits and vegetables are fantastic and a bit costly for a lot of families.

    Just putting some ideas out here for consideration.

    By the way, we didn't buy bottled water, soda or beer this weekend. We bought one hundred percent apple juice, instead.

  3. Another idea for consideration - seeds are super-cheap, and ANY family, urban, suburban, or rural CAN grow their own produce. It doesn't get more inexpensive than that. There are charity "soup" kitchens who serve nutritious meals FOR FREE with NO qualification requirements. School lunches, which are PAID FOR by YOUR tax dollars and MINE, are getting more nutritious and can also fill a tummy at least twice a day, and many schools now have "backpack" programs that SEND food home with children for those weekends when they don't get school food.

    Last I looked, skim milk costs no more than whole milk. Brown rice usually costs the same as white rice. The fiber and protein in beans (ultra-cheap) cannot be beat. And if a family chooses to go vegetarian (which can be healthy and nutritionally wholesome as well), savings can be realized by not buying any kind of meat.

    Fat can be trimmed from meat at home. If it is fatty hamburger meat, grease can be drained and the meal can be supplemented with beans (an excellent source of protein and fiber) and inexpensive frozen or canned vegetables.

    I know I don't have to preach about this stuff. All I am trying to say is that nutritious meals DEVOID of JUNK CAN be accomplished even on the most meager of budgets. My parents managed to do it. We were not dirt poor, but were by no means rich, and I remember many a meal of beans and cornbread. I remember getting commodity cheese and powdered milk. My parents made due, and as you can tell by looking at me, I never missed a meal in my life, and, yes, most of those meals were healthy or at least balanced.

    The government must not legislate nor regulate morality and/or self-control. That is my view here. The minute someone starts talking about more governmental control over our lives (and make no mistake, that is what will be happening here), I cringe. I REFUSE to play along with greater governmental control. The United States government has the duty to secure its nationhood and borders. Period. Their reach has become far too long and far too powerful. This is why I say, NO MORE TAXES.

  4. Please understand that I too don't want the government deciding what foods should cost more.

    As far as milk goes, I did state that sometimes the skim milk did cost more, but sometimes it is the same.

    Brown rice is more expensive than white rice and whole wheat anything is more expensive than white anything.

    Honestly, I do know how to eat cheap, and you can see that I haven't missed meals. My mom was a very thrifty shopper and excellent cook. She create great meals on a shoestring budget.

    Lunches at school that are offered reduced or free are out of reach for the lower middle class who doesn't qualify for government subsidies. Packed lunches from home where we saved money.

    We buy generic foods (have for many, many years) to save money and we do cut corners wherever we can.

    The purpose of my blog was to point out another place that someone came up with the bright idea of taxing soda to fight childhood obesity. Insanity at its finest.

    Get the kids outside, jump rope, play hopscotch, jacks, four square and other activities.

  5. Now THERE'S something we can absolutely agree on. Physical activity, especially out of doors, is of prime importance in preventing childhood obesity. Parents, get your kids from in front of the TV, computer, video game, etc. and make their little (or fat) heinies get outside and GET ACTIVE. In the interest of good examples, the parents should do the same.

    Children DO NOT get enough physical activity these days, and this must be changed in order to stave off the ever-climbing obesity and health problems we are seeing among today's youth.

    All in all, a good, thought-provoking post, Ferret. I thank you for the civil discussion.

    Have a good one!

  6. Trace it back---when they removed PE from the schools, and until the government MADE the food requirements better, kids got heavier.

    There's no PE in the elementary schools anymore. There's no music in elementary, no art classes. Go figure--those subjects are not on the TAKS, TAAS or whatever the current evaluation tool is called.

    Then, factor in parents who think every 5 year old needs an XBox. Childhood obesity is EVERYONE's fault, including the schools.

    But yes--a 'welfare diet' is largely starchy and fat. It's the nature of the beast. Beans are a good source of protein, but they are still a starch.

  7. My sister the music teacher had to sub for the PE teacher yesterday at school.

  8. VBB, what were you trying to point out to us?
    VISD doesn't care where they stick teachers?
    VISD doesn't care about teachers?
    VISD doesn't care about students?