Sugary Drinks Losing Their Influence? Blog Post #10

“Checking out at a Subway on the University of California, San Francisco, campus, where the sale of sugary beverages has been banned.”                                                                                        Credit: Jason Henry for The New York Times

Sprite, Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and even lemonade are soft drinks that contain loads of sugar. Last year, the University of California banned sugary drinks from their campus, including popular fast food brands like Subway and Panda express, have stopped the sale of soft drinks. This ban gave researchers at the university the opportunity to study both their students and workers. Focusing on elements like blood sugar levels and soft drink consumption, the university discovered that due to the ban their employees and students reduced their soft drink intake to nearly a quarter of their original intake levels.

The beverage industry has weighed in on the matter, and spent millions of dollars in ad campaigns against recent laws that planned to increase the tax on sugary beverages. The companies are claiming that these taxes are “hurting the poor” and have recently sued Philadelphia for implementing their soda tax, claiming that it is illegal. As further research supports the claim that sugary drinks are harmful for your health, more cities and states are considering implementing the soda tax, enraging the beverage industry.

In class, we have learned about the Ring of Gyges, and the power it holds over others. The Ring of Gyges gives large companies, like the soda industry, a free pass to certain punishments for their actions, but are these companies losing their grip?  With these new taxes, the soda companies are being heavily affected, losing thousands of dollars as more of their products become rejected by major suppliers. Their “ring” is losing its influence, and people are actually fighting back. At one time, it may seem like multi billion companies are untouchable, but when its own consumers fight back, their power is greatly diminished. While these companies continue to wear their ring, including the law suits they are filing against certain cities, the strength and influence the ring has is slowly wavering. What do you guys think?

Source: New York Times “Putting Sugary Soda Out of Reach” by Anahad O’Connor

Click here to view the NYT article this blog is based upon!


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