When Pediatricians stand up to Big Business.

My children have been repeatedly let down by their pediatricians. From the time I was bullied into circumcising my son until the time I was threatened when I wanted to delay vaccinations because my daughter had an infection, I have not felt that my children’s pediatricians have had their best interests at heart. That is why I switched to a new doctor for the entire family. There is a group of pediatricians in Massachusetts though that seem to be willing to wage war on behalf of our children against one of the most powerful industries in our nation: The Beverage Industry.

This industry is so intertwined within our society that nurses hand out free sodas to patients throughout the day at hospitals and soda machines are common place in our children’s schools. They even have their talons in our nation’s dietitian’s professional association.

I’m not very into adding more taxes, but that’s my personal political opinion. I am significantly heartened and hopeful though, when I think about a group of pediatricians coming together to try to influence their State House on behalf of the heath and welfare of our children. They propose that soda be taxed. Currently, it is not taxed because it is considered exempt from state sales tax as a food. The doctors say that since there is absolutely no nutritional benefit to drinking soda pop, it really isn’t a food any more than beer is a food.  The health implications of drinking any kind of beverage like this are well documented and considered scientific fact. These doctors want to stir the pot a bit. When polled, 69% of those polled in the state of Massachusetts,  said that they  would support the tax if the money were put toward local schools or programs to reduce childhood obesity. 69% is a very strong majority. It would seem like it is what the state wants, though it’s certainly not what the beverage industry wants.

Chelsea Conaboy of The Boston Globe wrote:

“The doctors planned to produce up to 5,000 prescription pads printed with an image of soda bottles with a line through them. Some will be designed to give to patients. Others will be printed as postcards that doctors can mail to their legislators each time they see a patient who is grappling with childhood obesity and for whom the drinks are believed to be a factor…”

Like I said, I don’t like more taxes, but I’d pay more in taxes just to see my State Representatives  figure out what to do with the thousands of “prescriptions” ordering “No sugary beverages” that would infiltrate their mail boxes. It gives me tremendous hope for the future of our nation.


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