A large controversy on whether or not the tax of sweetened beverages is fair begun January 1, 2017.  The city of Philadelphia has decided to put a 1.5 cent tax on every ounce of these beverages sold.  The distributors, any person selling to the stores or restaurants, are being taxed, which makes the prices go up when the dealers, any person selling from the stores or restaurants, ultimately sell the products.  The ‘sweetened beverages’ include any beverage sweetened with sugar, for example, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, alcohol, fruit juice, and sweetened iced teas. Unsweetened beverages would include any drink containing milk, soy and other milk substitutes, unsweetened tea, and either carbonated or non carbonated water. These beverages would be excluded from the tax. This tax is fair because of the shift in demand and the potential decrease of health problems and harmful effects of sugar. The first reason the sweetened beverage tax is fair is because of the large shift in demand away from sugary drinks and towards non-sugary drinks.  “Sales of non-sugar drinks in the non-alcoholic category are increasing at a rapid rate and are in the great majority, when you take into account coffee and tea.” (Witherspoon, 2015)  Because of the increase in price, consumers are drawn towards the cheaper options.  Coffee and unsweetened tea give consumers a healthier way to get the caffeine they searched for in sugary drinks.  The sales of bottled water within Philadelphia has also increased by 13 percent since the start of the sweetened beverage tax. This goes to show people are willing to switch from sugary drinks to healthier drinks when a higher price is applied.The second reason the sweetened beverage tax is fair is because of the potential decrease of harmful effects of sugar.  Many people are aware that sugary beverages are bad for their health, but do not want to limit the amount of drinks being consumed on their own because the sugar makes the drinks addictive.  A large intake of sugar can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, and dental decay.  “There can be as much as 33 to 35 grams of sugar in a can of soda, taking a child over their daily recommended allowance in both the UK and US with just one drink serving.” (Senthilingam, 2016)  Even if the tax only reduces the amount of sweetened drinks, instead of completely stopping the intake, major changes in children’s health with occur.  Sugar can lead to other health problems as well, such as mood swings.  “A ‘hit’ of sugar gives a high, but then as the sugar wears off and the body releases insulin to cope with the surge in sugar, it leads to a decline in energy and endurance.” (Pettinger, 2017)  This ‘sugar crash’ can then be solved by consuming more sugar. Some of the families, and other Philly citizens, may argue that the sweetened beverage tax is unfair because it “will take a higher percentage of income from those on low-incomes.” (Pettinger, 2017) They feel as though they would not be able to afford the tax. However, these low income families could find other, cheaper, options to stay away from spending the extra tax. Instead of going to a local grocery store and purchasing a higher-priced soda for instance, they could buy a less expensive water bottle or other unsweetened beverage. By doing this, the families would not only be saving their money, but also being healthier as well. In conclusion, this sweetened beverage tax is fair because of the shift in demand and the potential decrease of health problems and harmful effects of sugar. People would begin to shift towards the healthier unsweetened beverages and away from the unhealthy sugary beverages.

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