Is soda the new tobacco? New York Times food writer and cookbook author Mark Bittman asks the question in an article in the NYT yesterday. And he's got a very compelling case. Bittman points out that nationally we consume 50 gallons of the stuff per person each year, a ridiculous level that appears to be contributing to the rising levels of childhood obesity and diabetes. With the Obama administration recently announcing a plan to ban soda (and candy) from school, Bittman points out that a “growing number of public health advocates are pushing for even more aggressive actions, urging that soda be treated like tobacco: with taxes, warning labels and a massive public health marketing campaign, all to discourage consumption.” Read Bittman's column and consider the alternatives. Like Obama's health care plan, a soda tax is not a perfect solution. But it (too) may be a lot better than the present options. If you have an opinion–and you should–feel free to weigh in yourself in the comments below.

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