Readers React

Why tax only sugary sodas?

To the editor: David Lazarus makes valid points on taxing sugary soda drinks. But should sodas with artificial sweeteners be taxed as well? ("A national soda tax is needed to reduce obesity and save lives," Dec. 8)

It's important that they be included because the latest studies show that not only are they ridiculously unhealthy for many reasons, these so-called diet drinks actually are responsible for weight gain. Also, the sweetener aspartame has been shown to raise, not lower, blood sugar levels in diabetes-prone mice.

Bonnie Sanders, Malibu

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To the editor: Does Lazarus believe that soda is the sole vehicle for sugar consumption? There is no basis for calling for this tax unless you also are in favor of taxing all sugar-containing foods. It's hypocritical otherwise.

I have a feeling this is more about smacking down a product that the elite doesn't consume while leaving "good" uses of sugar in artisan ice cream and food truck cupcakes alone.

Marc Schoenfeld, Oakland

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