If you google good foods or superfoods you will find a variety of lists, many of which disagree. The same can be said about the lists of bad foods. As a matter of fact, when I googled bad foods the first list that came up was “7 Bad Foods That are Actually Good for You”. What we know is that, in general, something is wrong with our food choices as evidenced by our increasing obesity and chronic diseases.
So do we just throw up our hands and say it’s too complicated or is there way to begin? One item in which the health community has general agreement is that sugary drinks are inversely affecting our health. An article in the November 2013 issue of American Journal of Public Health stated:
“Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) may be the single most important driver of the obesity epidemic. In the past decade alone, per capita intake of calories derived from carbonated drinks and SSBs has increased by approximately 30%. Moreover, beverages are thought to account for 10% to 15% of calorie intake for children and adolescents”
Does taxing these beverages make a difference? This same article goes on to say that the states that tax these drinks have significantly less obesity than the states that don’t. Is taxing in this case taking away too much of our individual freedom? We tax cigarettes and alcohol. How does our individual freedom figure into the increasing cost of health care resulting from the increasing obesity? Good foods/bad foods - there is no disagreement about where the sugary drinks belong.
COMMENT - WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Tricia Gregory, MA,RD/N
A dietitian who is a foodie and loves a great dinner party with wonderful food and terrific friends.