On the agenda this week in Chicago at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Medical Association is a vote. The vote will be on whether or not the group will recommend that beverages sweetened with sugar be taxed. At first blush one wonders why an association composed of doctors is voting to recommend taxation–clearly an issue out of their scope of expertise– but those lobbying for its passage say it’s an attempt to get at a deeper, more troubling issue.
The tax would curb consumer consumption of drinks because of the higher prices that would be charged for them. Sugary drinks, they believe, not only have zero nutritional value but are also harmful to our health.
The AMA is the largest association of medical doctos in this country and carries a lot of weight in the industry. The move to add the vote to this week’s annual meeting agenda also indicates a growing support among mainstream medical professionals that sugar is indeed bad for one’s health.
This also comes on the heels of New York City’s mayor plan to ban all supersized sugary drinks in restaurants and movie theaters, citing the sugary drinks’ ill effects on health, and last week’s decision by the FDA to quash a petition from the Corn Refiners Association asking permission to change high-fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar.”
Refined sugars have been linked to, and even blamed for a whole host of health maladies, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Several months ago, The New York Times ran an article asking, “Is Sugar Toxic?” What do you think?