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Sweet drinks not the only culprit


KIM SMITH

Sweet drinks not the only culprit

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I JUST THOUGHT I would make a few comments on the recent calls for an increase in the sweet drink tax in an effort to curb obesity in our nation.

Why are only sweet drinks being targeted as a source of sugar? If you go to the supermarket and look around, you will see lots of sweets, cakes and pastries, chocolates, ice cream, alcohol, ready-made desserts and so on. So why is it that only one product is being selected as the scapegoat for a sugar problem in our country?

Juice also contains a lot of sugar. Calorie for calorie, is the juice much different than a soft drink? Box juices are expensive for the quantity that is in them compared to the price of a sweet drink.

A small box juice for $1.75, is only a small gulp to an adult. How can that satisfy a construction worker or farm labourer who has been working and sweating it out in the sun?

As a diabetic, there are hardly any ready-to-go snacks available in the supermarket. You can find nuts, Dixie peanut butter sandwiches, tuna and crackers in ready-to-go packs, cheese and crackers. Even the high protein granola bars which have in nine grammes of protein, instead of two grammes, still have in a lot of sugar.

Diabetic snacks tend to be expensive. Even the diabetic drinks like Glucerna are like $4 to $5 per can.

How is it that by penalising our local soft drink manufacturers, are we going to control the sugar we consume as a nation?

Maybe the sweet tax needs to go on imported goods that are over a certain percentage of sugar. Maybe the schools should only be allowed to sell the sweet drinks in small sizes.

The thing is that the sugary snacks are cheaper than the high-protein or sugar-free items in the supermarket.

Everyone is under financial strain these days, and many parents look to the cheaper snacks to give their children because that is what they can afford. How are we going to make the better food choices more affordable?

– KIM SMITH

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