Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Lifestyles

September 12, 2012

Slate: Don't ban Big Gulps

Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of 32-ounce sodas has hit up against some serious negative public opinion of late. First there was the Million Big Gulp March, in which a sprinkling of protestors showed up to protect the right to buy supersized beverages. More problematically for the mayor, a New York Times poll found that 60 percent of New Yorkers oppose the ban. The Times' quote from Queens resident Bob Barocas bluntly summed up the opposition to the ban: "This is like the nanny state going off the wall."

No one likes to be told what to do. And if the city is banning supersized soda, some fear that it won't be long before the government will be forcing broccoli down our gullets. Maybe it's time to revisit a gentler approach to nudging New Yorkers to eat and drink more healthily by taxing sugar, fat, and other foods that help make America the fattest nation on earth. Boosting prices on unhealthy food is also fraught with controversy, in large part because poor people eat a lot of the junk food that would be targeted with the new taxes. Much prior work has found that food and beverage purchases_including those by low-income shoppers_are surprisingly insensitive to changes in prices; consumers buy what they want to buy anyway. If this is the case, then fat and sugar taxes will further impoverish the poor without making them any skinnier.

But new evidence suggests that this concern may be overstated. A trio of marketing professors have shown that in places where a gallon of whole milk is 40 or 50 cents more expensive than skim, low-income shoppers are twice as likely to buy the lower-calorie milk. If consumers react similarly to price increases for sugary sodas and other unhealthy food options, simple economic incentives may help make low income Americans healthier, and without having to ban any Big Gulps.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • samantha stroube daviss.jpg For the boys

    It’s official, I have decided to not bring any of my nice decorative pieces out of hiding until my last little one is off to college.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • MTV Movie Awards big Hollywood studio plug-fest

    LOS ANGELES — Last year, the MTV Movie Awards moved up its broadcast date from June to April to incorporate a summer movie plug-fest. Sunday night's show cemented that change as clips from anticipated blockbusters debuted at the madcap ceremony.

    April 14, 2014

  • Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show

    CBS moved swiftly Thursday to replace the retiring David Letterman with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who will take over the "Late Show" next year and do battle with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel for late-night television supremacy.

    April 10, 2014

  • Woman complains to police about marijuana quality

    Lufkin - Police in East Texas have arrested a woman after she called them to complain about the quality of the marijuana she had purchased from a dealer.

    April 7, 2014

  • Barbara Walters sets May 16 for exit

    NEW YORK - Barbara Walters plans to make her final appearance on "The View" on May 16, part of a daylong retirement celebration that will include ABC News naming its New York headquarters after her.

    April 7, 2014

  • Familiar Faces - Brittany Hazelwood Familiar Faces - Brittany Hazelwood

    The National Society of High School Scholars announces Corsicana High School student Brittany Hazelwood from Corsicana has been selected to become a member of the esteemed organization.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • samantha stroube daviss.jpg Should 'I-T' create anxiety?

    I am typically not an anxious person. Yes I like to get things done, rather than leave loose ends; that may make me a little anxious.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • samantha stroube daviss.jpg Take time to breathe

    We are all in such a rush these days that time is passing us by and I don’t even think we realize it. This year our family decided to stay home for Spring Break and have a “stay-cation.” I had such feelings of guilt not taking our kids somewhere, because we love to take every opportunity to expose them to the world, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Catherine Wright Catherine Wright 80th Birthday

    Mrs. Catherine Wright turned 80 years young on Feb. 11, 2014 and received a surprise birthday party from her daughters, Saundra Jones and Serena Bostic.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rice Blue Lightning Rice Blue Lightning

    Rice Intermediate/Middle School competed in the 2014 Battle of the Books Feb. 28 sponsored by ESC Region 12.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo