Re "Treat sugar like tobacco" (Forum, June 13):
I don't know about taxing soda drinks to fight obesity because I'm not sure how effective taxing tobacco has been in deterring smoking.
I do believe it is everyone's responsibility to be informed and then manage their own health accordingly. If people really understood how much sugar is in those drinks, they might drink fewer of them.
For the past few years, I have had my seventh-grade science students measure exactly how much sugar is in their snacks, and in the process, teaching them how to read nutrition labels. Most are amazed at what they see.
For instance, a 12-ounce can of Pepsi has 41 grams of sugar. Visually, that is 8.2 teaspoons of sugar (although it is usually high-fructose corn syrup another potential health issue). Try mixing eight teaspoons of sugar into one-and-a-half cups of water and drinking that! Most wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.
That's just one serving. How many soft drinks does the average person drink each day?
Soft drink companies and the medical industry are making out like bandits due to our poor choices. At least let your choices be informed ones.