Friday, November 13, 2015

Don’t bring me those cookies

In its November 2015 newsletter, the International Diabetes Federation announced they want world leaders to use sugar taxes to fight obesity.  They argue doing so would save lives and lower healthcare costs.

They remind us that in G20 countries, diabetes affects 286 million people and generates diabetes-related healthcare costs of $572 billion in 2014.  I won’t bore you about which countries make up the “G20 world gang” other than to say the United States is one.

They also remind us that worldwide, 415 million people suffer from diabetes and by 2040 this will grow to 642 million people.

So let’s do some math to see how this sugar tax might work closer to home.

Here in the United States, apparently, the average person consumes more than 126 grams of sugar per day.  This is about two and one-half times the daily intake recommended by the World Health Organization (another world gang).

Pass me a couple more chocolate chip cookies to give me an energy boost so I can tell you more.

Now according to the American Diabetes Association, the estimated total healthcare cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States was $245 billion in 2012.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2012 population was 314.1 million.

Let’s use these numbers to calculate how a sugar tax might work with the goal of having this sugar tax totally pay for the healthcare cost of diabetes.

Let’s also give everyone a sugar consumption standard deduction of sorts equal to the World Health Organization’s recommended daily allowance for sugar consumption.  As mentioned above, that’s 50 grams per day.

The economists at Pierini Fitness have crunched the numbers and announce this sugar tax would amount to three cents per gram of sugar consumed in excess of the 50 grams per day recommended daily allowance.

So those two chocolate chip cookies I asked you to give me would cost me a sugar tax of 48 cents.

On second thought, don’t bring me those cookies.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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