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    Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    created by teebeetoo 13 days 13 hours 25 minutes ago

    Category: Politics

    Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    There is literally nothing soda does that is good for you or the world. It is empty calories, costs money but does not provide nutrition, is generally sold in single serve containers that are expensive and wasteful to produce and often are not recycled. Between the nutritional catastrophe they embody, the harm they cause to the environment, and the toll they they take on public health, there is no reason not to ban soda other than to allow big companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi to continue reaping profits and polluting the earth.

    Is there any reasonable argument for soda to exist?

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    I've never considered an outright ban, despite the multitude of reasons why it would be better for us not to have it.

    The only somewhat reasonable argument for not having an outright ban is that people have a right to choose. It's the same reason why cigarettes haven't been banned, just priced prohibitively. If soda were more expensive than regular drinking water I think it would do wonders in reducing overall consumption.

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hey there,

    I understand your point, and as you requested, I'm basically going to play devil's advocate here.

    I enjoy drinking soda. I know it's bad for you, really bad, but I just cannot kick the habit. I have tried many times, and failed every time. There's just something about an ice cold can of Pepsi that makes me smile. The argument you make about the lack of nutritional value, the expensive & wasteful packaging, could likely be made for many other things. Think candy. Or a Big Mac. Those are things that are also horrible for you.

    My thoughts would be the same whether I was a soda drinker or not: I do not think that putting a ban on soda is the right way to go with this. Something like this takes more education as to the immediate & long-term side effects of drinking soda. I believe that in recent years, the push on healthier living has made a dramatic impact on the consumption of soda. I hear of far more people that do not drink it than I hear of those that do. It didn't used to be that way.

    As a country, we have far more things to worry about than soda. If we ban soda, where do we draw the line? Do we shut down fast food restaurants? Do we cancel Halloween because candy is banned too?

    This is a really interesting topic. I understand and appreciate your point of view on it. I'll be interested to read other's thoughts on this as well.

    Thanks for reading, and enjoy your day!

    Beth

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Thanks for the very thoughtful response, Beth!

    It's true that soda consumption has been greatly reduced as a result of more education on the subject and a better understanding of what it does to our body. I do think that that kind of knowledge has had an impact on a lot of industries, and it is easy to see how there have been dramatic shifts in various sectors of the food industry.

    I specifically think that soda is problematic because, as we found out as a result of some exposes that came up earlier this year, there was quite the cover up when it came to suppressing the hazards of eating too much sugar, on the part of both the FDA and the companies that benefit from excess sugar consumption. I wonder if perhaps there could be some sort of reconciliation between public health officials and the companies who have used nefarious means to promote sugar consumption so that we could guarantee a more informed populace in the future.

    I also wonder about the possibility of banning single use containers for drinks, as we know that most people do not deal with their drink bottles responsibly.

    At some point I do think we need to think beyond our freedom of choice and consider what is best for public health and our environment.

    Best,

    Teebee

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hi!

    First, to answer your question, I will say that people should have the right to choose. Living in the United States allows us the freedom to make choices on many things that affect our lives. Taking away our freedom to chose by banning products that some claim to be bad for us or the environment is denying people their basic right to choose what is best for themselves and their families.

    In reality, like so many other products approved by the FDA, soda is harmful to us. It has no nutritional value, and it is full of sugar and chemicals that are damaging to our bodies. In our high school, they banned regular soda because of the sugar content, but they filled the machines with diet soda, which has even more chemicals in it! Many students began drinking the diet soda because that is the only option they had available. I think it may depend on where you live in the United States whether or not people are still consuming a lot of soda. It is pretty common where I am from to see people drinking soda with dinner. I would be fine if they banned all of it!

    Have a great day!

    Katelyn

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hey teebeetoo,

    Why allow governments to regulate what we put in our bodies? Remember prohibition? Well, remember learning about it at least? A ban won't make it go away.

    There is power where we put our money and as consumers we need to understand this. What do you support with your money? If you don't support it, then don't buy it. But you can't take away other's right to choose which products they'll endorse and support. Believe it or not, some people are fulfilled by drinking soda.

    I rarely, if ever, drink soda, but what others choose to do is their call - not ours. There are so many things in this world that we'd have to ban that are equally bad or worse. High fructose corn syrup, for example. It all comes back to leading by example. Choosing water, milk or juice and teaching our children the better options.

    Thanks for the forum!
    -bella

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hey Hey!

    Is it garbage your body does not need? Absolutely Making it illegal though? That seems problematic. There are tons of things in your local standard grocery store you do not need that have no nutritional value whatsoever. Most fast food places have no significant nutritional value whatsoever on the majority of their menu's. Making something like soda illegal then opens a precedent to consider making tons of other things illegal of the same ilk. Would it be a good idea to? Maybe in theory, but in practice it would be a nightmare. The resources and burden on officials to then enforce that law would be extremely difficult. Like I said, the precedent is what would concern me. And then we also have the question of what if someone does have soda? Is possession of it a crime then? What about if they are making soda? Does making something with no nutritional value weigh in a similar manner to creating harmful drugs? These things would then be answered by the courts and in the courts rulings can change law and impact law enforcement in huge ways based on the interpretation of the law's text and key questions brought up in deliberation. Is this true for any law. Yes. Which is why when laws are made they need to be not only carefully crafted but also should be absolutely necessary because of the impact a law's creation has. I am all for educating people about nutrition and encouraging them to veer away from soda and all, but a law is a step too far to me. It just does not seem worth the trouble and unforeseeable impacts it would/could have.

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hi. As a person diagnosed with colitis, I definitely understand why you're against soda. However, I don't completely agree with you. Strewn plastic bottles and the lack of recycling does hurt the environment, but that's not exactly the soda companies' faults. It's the fault of all those people who have no regard for animal life, plant life, or any life for that matter, and choose to litter or not recycle. Also, regarding it being unhealthy, there are a ton of other things that are just as unhealthy, if not worse. Banning soda seems a little extreme, and would be quite hypocritical if other unhealthy food/drinks (chocolate, candy, energy drinks) weren't banned as well. And if the company has the money to make these bottles, I don't quite see why it matters if the process is expensive. It's their money; it's not like I have the right to tell them how to spend it. You make a compelling argument, yes, but banning soda is just way too extreme.

    Besides, soda tastes great; I'm a huge Pepsi fan! My joys in life are few, and I'd rather not have one of them made illegal.

    -Raneem

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hey there,

    I can see your point about it being unhealthy as it is unhealthy but there's a lot of unhealthy stuff out there besides soda as well. As for the waste from containers, there's also other products where people are not recycling. Actually from people I know who recycle, it's usually soda/beer cans they recycle the most.

    But I think the biggest reason to keep it legal is to give people the choice. Let them know the facts and how harmful it is but still allow them the choice. Alcohol is not good for you nor is cigarettes (and cigarette smoking can affect you even if you don't smoke) but people still deserve the ability to choose what they put in their bodies. And anyone that halfway paid attention to history knows what happened when they tried to ban alcohol.

    Interesting topic, hope you have a great day.

    -Raeanna

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Thank you for the responses! I'm really curious to know whether those of you who say that it should not be legalized or who reference prohibition--do you also think all drugs should be legalized?

    Also, I am curious, do you think that there is anything god about the existence of soda? Does it bring any good to the world at all? Who benefits from us having soda and how?

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    I mean yeah, soda's pretty bad for you. I wouldn't go and ban it though, if only because then it'll become a contraband item and I couldn't take gangs seriously if they were selling Dr. Pepper out on the street.
    The one soda I would advocate for is ginger ale. It's caffeine free, has significantly less syrup and other junk in it, and does wonders for an upset stomach.

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    I'm really appreciating everyone's interesting replies! I think it's really interesting that everyone thinks that we should have the right to choose whatever we want to do even if it is bad for us and costs a lot of money to society, and those who do not choose to engage in those dangerous activities.

    I really wish I knew if everyone on here also supports the legalization of drugs, since it is something that people could freely choose to put in their own body without effecting others. Also, if it were to be legalized, there would be no more crime involved in drug taking and therefore taking drugs would become much safer.

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Hi again!

    I very much enjoyed reading everyone's responses on this forum. In answer to your additional question: I do not support the legalization of drugs. Here's the difference - drugs are impairing. When someone is on drugs, it affects their mental state, which can result in harm to themselves or others. Someone that is drinking soda is not affecting their mental state. They are not putting themselves in a position to harm themselves or others.

    I understand where you are going with this, but just as others have said, we live in a free country. If our country started to ban things like what we are allowed to eat and drink, our country would become even worse than it already is.

    I hope this answered your question!

    Beth

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Thanks, Beth Rose.

    I appreciate that you took the time to read through the comments to see my follow up questions.

    I suppose I actually disagree with your thesis. I actually think that soda brings us almost no benefits, and as a society, all it does is taste good for a very brief time.

    On the other hand, substances that change our state of consciousness bring a more lasting experience, one that can often be enjoyed with friends and family, and can accentuate an experience. For example, I like to drink alcohol when I sing karaoke, because it can loosen up people with inhibitions, and some people like to smoke weed when they go camping because they report positive feelings when they change their state of being that way when they are enjoying nature.

    I also think that if drug use were legal, there would be safe spaces in which to use drugs, so the people using them would not really be dangers to others.

    Also, while drinking soda won't negatively affect a bystander while the soda is being consumed, it actually has a long time, cumulative bad effect on society because taxpayers wind up bearing the brunt of diseases like diabetes and heart disease, especially in a country that does not have universal health care.

    Again, I think these kinds of debates are very productive, and I am happy to get to read so many people's responses!

    Teebee

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Good afternoon!

    Making something as commonplace as soda illegal would be complicated and not entirely realistic, though I’m pretty sure most of the population wishes it was.

    According to the Healthline newsletter, American Heart Association cited research that shows sugary soft drinks are responsible for 180,000 deaths worldwide each year.
    https://www.healthline.com/health-news/addiction-sugar-acts-like-drug-in-the-brain-and-could-lead-to-addiction-091813#6

    While the probability of death associated with the consumption of soda and other soft drinks is criminally high, it can be argued that the freedom to do terrrible things to one’s body is a mere externality of living in a free country.

    I used to think fat-rich and sugar-rich foods were made to be so inexpensive and accessible so that Americans would consume them more, develop illnesses, and spend more money on medicine and gym memberships.

    I know now that the routine consumption of sodas, Big Macs, etc are more burdernous to taxpayers. Unfortunately I don’t have the source on hand but I did read this in a book about diabetes types 1 and 2: the government spends billions of dollars on the treatment of those with diabetes type 2, caused by the excessive consumption of sugar. This would make a fairly substantial argument against keeping soda legal, but whether or not one wants to drink soda is an entirely personal choice. No one forces us to drink soda, so no law should force us not to.

    Furthermore, people who make the components that go into soda could lose their jobs. If all these people end up being broke for a while and have to be on welfare, it would cost the government enormous sums of money, which is certainly not ideal.

    I drink soda every once in a while, particularly at work where there’s a soda fountain in the kitchen from which my coworkers and I can keep coming back for more Pepsi, ginger ale, sprite, and water, too.

    I like the way soda tastes and I also enjoy its fizz, but it does make me feel crumby. It’s like drinking toxic waste for sure, which is why I generally stick to water. Water is detoxifying and good for the kidneys.

    If more people are informed of these properties of water, then they will almost certainly think twice before reaching for another can of Coke, illegalization would be out of the question.

    Thanks for the forum!
    Have a wonderful day. :)
    -Chloe

    Re: Soda Should be Illegal: Change my Mind

    Thanks for your response, Chloe, and everyone else.

    Honestly, I do not really think that soda should be made illegal, but I do often wonder what we should do about certain things that are bad for society. Should we really be producing things that are killing us? Does drinking any kind of flavored sugar we want really make us "free"? I often ponder these questions, and I thank you all for pondering with me!

    Teebeetoo