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Soda Tax

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To combat the growing waistlines and associated health problems, a tax on soft drinks has been bandied about. The idea would decrease the amount of soda people drink, thereby decreasing the number of calories from sugary beverages. Equally important, a soda tax seems like a no-brainer because it would also raise money for cash-strapped governments, even with a decrease in the amount purchased.

Opponents believe a tax would undermine people's choice, with mega-corporations like Coke being especially vocal. Coke's CEO likened any proposed tax on soft drinks to communism, as free and democratic governments have zero right to tell people what and what not to drink. Others in opposition suggest the beneficial impact would be minimal, as a tax would target only one aspect of the problem. Consumers would still purchase other unhealthy foods not subject to the tax.

Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Discuss the statements for two or three minutes.

  1. People must eat healthier food.
  2. The government should regulate the food people buy.

Vocabulary: Check the new vocabulary in a dictionary. Then match the words.

  1. bandy
  2. liken
  3. subject
  4. undermine
  • discuss
  • under the control of
  • similar
  • weaken

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. Do you think a soda tax would have any effect? Why/not?
  2. Would you favor a tax on sodas? How about other equally unhealthy food? Why/not?
  3. What do you think of the reasons given by people opposed to the tax? Please explain.

Download the lesson:

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