De-villainizing Dr Pepper

Commentary on soda-tax proposals that’s equally applicable to the obesity litigation wars:

…soda, by itself, isn’t making us fat. According to numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, regular soda consumption has been falling every year since 1998, but at the same time obesity has skyrocketed. In 2004, we actually drank less soda per person than in 1995, long before obesity was making headlines.

(Sara Cseresnyes and Andrew Chamberlain, “Soda Tax the Wrong Way to Help Curb Obesity”, Denver Post, Jul. 21, reprinted at Tax Foundation site) (via Radley Balko, who adds, “Yep. In fact, the beverage that has by far seen the largest increase in consumption since about 1980 is bottled water. Diet soda is second.”) Related: Lorraine Heller, “The Obesity Blame Game”, Beverage Daily, Aug. 7, and reader feedback at that publication.


  • Just a small point for accuracy…..

    ….. there is no period after “Dr” in “Dr Pepper.”

  • Fixed now. (Or maybe in this case it should read “Fixed now”)

  • So a decrease in soda consumption leads to a decrease in obesity? Very interesting. Maybe we should have a tax on people who don’t drink soda.

  • I always wonder whether these statistics are adjusted for immigration and illegal-immigration. My area of California has seen a massive change in population, from 90% or higher native born to 60% or higher foreign born. Nation wide about 18% of our population was not born in this country. I read an article in the newspaper about how Americans are not as tall as previous generations. The next day I visually compared my sons to their predominately immigrant Asian and Hispanic classmates. No one in the room was as tall as my son’s shoulders. For thirty years I have ignored every poll that did not specifically adjust for population change because if they don’t the numbers are almost meaningless.

  • I drink a Dr Pepper every day. (I switched from Coke recently.) I’d been drinking a Coke a day for years. I also eat ice cream every day. Full-fat, not non-fat. Of course, I should mention that it takes me a week to go through a pint of Haagen-Dazs, and I’m the cheapest date in the world, because I typically only eat half my dinner, and then save the rest for lunch the next day. Yes, I moderate what I eat. And I don’t let myself indulge in my guilty pleasure – watching cop shows – unless I also ride my indoor bike. Hmm, personal responsibility, huh? More people should discover the concept.