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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

Give me soda or give me death

On Tuesday, the soda companies PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group announced that they will attempt to cut the number of calories consumed by the average American from sugary drinks by 20 percent.

I find this commitment entirely absurd. My first argument is basic — why should a group of private companies determine my ?consumer habits?

Granted, they shouldn’t intentionally harm the customer, but to consume or not to consume is my choice.

Namely, I believe that if I gain weight from consuming too much soda, I cannot blame the company that produced it.

That is my issue, not theirs.

The only way they could be implicated is if they deliberately hid or obscured the product’s nutritional facts and I, in complete ignorance, drank too much and suffered from health ?problems.

But this isn’t the case.

I can’t reasonably imagine that any significant portion of the American population is ignorant about soda’s lack of nutritional value.

They partake in soda with complete knowledge of what it contains.

The commitment says the companies will sell their products in smaller packaging so people can’t consume as much at one time.

But, with the higher package-to-product ratio, soda will end up costing more if the packaging costs more than the actual product.

If these soda companies wanted to actually do something that would cut the number of calories consumed by the lower-income population, they would cut the prices on the products in which they already have huge profit margins.

For example, they have the full capability to cut their bottled water prices to make them as cheap, perhaps even cheaper, than their soda prices.

This would make a healthier option than soda, and it would actually be at a realistic price for consumers.

I don’t really want to suggest this, though, since bottled water is already a ridiculous product.

Most municipal water systems are perfectly fine.

But that is one of the very few things soda companies can, and perhaps even should, do.

Really, one of the few other things that could help is if they cut prices on their sports drink products to make them competitive with soda prices.

If they give lower-income people options, they won’t be financially restricted to buy only soda.

Other than that, one cannot legitimately expect soda companies to cut calories for us.

Our health is oure ?responsibility.

They are businesses and, as long as they are honest about their products, we are free to choose what we want, even if that happens to be a two-liter of Coke.

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