USDA Comes Out for Sugary Beverage Tax

Yesterday, the USDA released a report (PDF) on the potential effects of taxing sweetened beverages. Given that the government is in the business of generating revenue (and, under Obama, reducing obesity), it not surprisingly found that a a tax would be a good idea. What differs in their research from other reports on a potential soda tax is that the USDA says that a tax would actually result in enough reduced consumption to cause a small—but significant—weight loss for the country as a whole.

As you can see in this chart, the USDA estimates that a tax would reduce the number of calories from sweetened beverages (the calories from unsweetened beverages come mostly from milk) consumed by adults in the United States by 37 a day. That doesn't seem like much, but 37 calories a day over the course of a year is 3.8 pounds. And while that doesn't seem like a lot of pounds in an obese person, the study finds that a lot of people are only a tiny bit (like, say, less than 3.8 pounds) obese or overweight. A reduction of 3.8 pounds across the population, says the USDA, could reduce the percent of overweight adults from 66.9 to 62.4 percent, and the percent of obese adults from 33.4 to 30.4 percent.

You should also note that the USDA lumps in all sweetened beverages (like fruit juices and iced tea), saving them from the legitimate argument that soda is being unfairly vilified in the war against sugary beverages.

Via Business Insider

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less