Morbidly obese…taxes

There was a hot button issue that flooded my television last week, and undoubtedly yours as well, about New York Governor David Paterson proposing a sales tax on non-diet soft drinks.

But, the best part about this sales tax is the reasoning behind it. On one hand, democratic politicians everywhere are bursting at the seams trying to find ways to gather more money for President Obama’s health-care overhaul. Which, I believe, should not be paid for by taxes.

On the other hand, and this is the part that bothers me the most, Paterson’s reasoning for proposing this tax on sodas is because of obesity. To clarify, they’re claiming the current obesity epidemic has a direct connection with drinking soda, much like a few years back when McDonald’s had everyone up in arms.

I’m sure that I can’t be the only one who finds this not only absurd, but also highly impractical.

We, as a society, have been drinking some sort of carbonated beverage-or soda like drinks-since the late 1800s, and we also have been eating fast food, from fast food chains, since at least the 1950s. So why is it now that everyone is making a huge deal over soft drinks and fast food being correlated to obesity?

It is undeniable that both soda and fast food have adverse affects on our health. And it is also certain that soda contains a unreasonably high level of sugar which can potentially lead to obesity and other health related problems.

But, and this is the point I think dull-witted politicians look over, there is a missing link.

What I mean is that people don’t become obese just because they drink Dr.. Pepper with their Mickey-D’s Big Mac combo; it’s because they’re not active.

Now I’m certainly not a health freak, and I do not intend to imply that I know everything about living a healthy life, but I do believe it’s common sense to know that it takes much more than just a few trips to the drive-thru to become obese.

Visit any health related website, and you’ll see that the spike in obesity has occurred within the last 5-10 years. Which, in backwards glance, coincides with the advancement of certain technology such as video games and faster, better computers.

Not because we have soft drinks and fast food. If you think about it, it’s kind of like the movie “Wall-E.” We’re not fat because of food, we’re fat because technology does everything for us.

I’m nowhere near being anti-technology. In fact, I love my video games and my laptop. It’s just that people are placing blame on things that are only an addition to the problem.

Do not place the blame on what we eat/drink, or what technology we have in front of us, but the individual, or the parents of the individual, who is obese for not taking better care of themselves.

Those individuals who insist on eating junk, drinking an excessive amount of sugary beverages, and in turn not doing anything to keep active (unless you count the dexterity of their fingers) are to blame for their obesity.

It’s certainly a fine line that must be drawn between the use of technology, eating/drinking of “unhealthy” items, and what we do with our lives. The blame cannot go solely on soft drinks, but as a grouping of each that should be targeted.

Why should I have to pay more for something I don’t abuse, while someone who is unhealthy and obese is the person who abuses the privilege?

While this sales tax will most likely not go through, this entire ordeal still makes me wonder how some of these politicians ever got elected. Their denseness, coupled with their uncanny ability to find ways to gather more money, and what they’ll say about items or things to get that money, honestly scares me.

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