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Should sugar be regulated? -- like, against the law or taxed regulated?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 01, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Robert Lustig et al have authored a new commentary that appears in Nature making the case for why sugar should be regulated, similar to alcohol and tobacco.

Freedom to choose vs. incentivizing the limitation/elimination of a definitively harmful substance from the American diet through taxation or possibly regulation. Should we regulate sugar consumption? Has taxation/regulation worked and been worth the cost of the oversight for alcohol and tobacco?

I can hear Milton Friedman rolling over in his grave now.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7383/full/482027a.html

It seems to be getting all kinds of news coverage (at least it's pretty high on my Google News feed):

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/01/health/opinion-regulate-sugar-alcohol/index.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/02/01/sugar-toxic-regulate.html

http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/01/10291280-regulate-sugar-like-booze-and-cigarettes-maybe

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 01, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I don't like the legalize and tax. This leads to selective predatory taxation that is no better than prohibition, and perhaps worse.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on February 01, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Why legalize and tax? Who says what we should tax and what we shouldnt? It should be legalize and leave alone.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 01, 2012
at 09:24 PM

In fairness, I just finished reading the Nature article and it would seem Lustig and friends have a slant towards taxation as opposed to lawful limitation. +1 for your free-market attitudes though. Sometimes my health zeal almost trumps my social and fiscal libertarianism. Almost...

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3 Answers

3
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 01, 2012
at 09:13 PM

No. All you wind up with is an arbitrary line drawing exercise if you get into this. Also you'd probably wind up with awesome things like bacon "against the law regulated" as there are many more of them than there are of us. I say legalize everything without restrictions, tax the absolute shit out of it, and privatize healthcare so I don't indirectly pay for the health consequences.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 01, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I don't like the legalize and tax. This leads to selective predatory taxation that is no better than prohibition, and perhaps worse.

F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 01, 2012
at 09:24 PM

In fairness, I just finished reading the Nature article and it would seem Lustig and friends have a slant towards taxation as opposed to lawful limitation. +1 for your free-market attitudes though. Sometimes my health zeal almost trumps my social and fiscal libertarianism. Almost...

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on February 01, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Why legalize and tax? Who says what we should tax and what we shouldnt? It should be legalize and leave alone.

0
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 01, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Of course not. Because 1000 years from now we're going to wake up in the future and find out that it's good for you, just like Woody Allen in Sleeper.

0
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 01, 2012
at 09:38 PM

NO.

It's a slippery slope. Despite claims, sugar is NOT a mind altering drug. One person's sugar consumption does not endanger or impact the life of he/she who chooses not to eat sugar.

The answer is education. Sans hyperbole -- IOW, unfortunately, not from Lustig.

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