Grassroot Perspective Podcast: Obesity, the Soda Tax, and the Nanny-State

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By Malia Hill, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Photo: Emily Metcalf

In this week’s Grassroot Perspective podcast, Malia Hill discusses the latest effort to raise taxes on sugary drinks (e.g. soda, juice, and energy drinks) and the rationale that its necessary to combat obesity.  Finally, she responds to listener concerns in response to last week’s podcast on gun control.


Listen below, and don’t miss the opportunity to submit questions  for next week’s discussion of the future of free market principles in Hawaii politics (and the Hawaii GOP).  Email your questions/suggestions to, submit them via twitter, or simply add them in the comment section!  And don’t forget to follow the Grassroot Institute on Twitter @grassroothawaii.


Views expressed are intended to promote creative thought, educate, and, we hope, prompt comment. Accordingly, thoughts expressed do not necessarily reflect the official position of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii or the author.

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  1. Be clear – obesity is caused by carbohydrate intake. If you decided that you had to use the nanny state to end obesity through taxation, you should be taxing bread, rice, cereal, grains, potatoes, bananas, and other starchy vegetables and sugary fruits.

    Stop eating carbohydrates. It's simple.

  2. also HFCS(high fructose corn syrup) a cheap substitute for sugar that many processed food and soft drink industries use.bad for health.

  3. As science makes clear, obesity is not the result of any single food, beverage or ingredient. Therefore, it’s inaccurate and misleading to suggest that sugar-sweetened beverages are a unique risk factor for this complex public health challenge. For this reason, it’s illogical to suggest that taxing sugar-sweetened beverages will somehow combat obesity. Frankly that’s why the public policy debate has moved on from taxes to real solutions. Bottom line: if the goal is to help health, education, not regulation, can teach Americans how to strike a healthier balance between overall caloric intake and physical activity. Taxes won’t teach this, nor will they change behaviors in a meaningful way.
    -American Beverage Association

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