FIZZY DRINKS | See diet.

UNITED STATES

A review of Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda and Winning, by Marion Nestlé, Oxford University Press, 2015, in The Economist 28th November 2015, p74).

‘In America companies still produce 30 gallons of regular (not diet) fizzy drinks per person per year. In many countries, particularly developing ones, consumption is on the rise. Drinking a lot of sweet fizzy drinks is plainly unhealthy. Unlike a Big Mac, they have no nutritional value; nor do their calories satisfy hunger. One large study found that for each can added to a person’s daily diet, the risk of diabetes jumped by 22%. There are also links between sugar and heart disease, stroke and cancer. Drinking lots of sodas imposes clear costs on individuals, Ms Nestle argues, but it has a broader cost, too. American taxpayers subsidise corn production (and thereby corn syrup) and let the poor use government food vouchers to buy fizzy drinks. More important, taxpayers foot the health bill for those who develop chronic disease. Her stronger points: fizzy drinks offer no nutritional benefit and impose clear costs—on individuals’ health and on society.