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England's NHS discussing complete ban on sugary drinks


(NaturalNews) When you surrender all of your healthcare decisions to the state, you lose more than just the freedom to choose your own treatments and care options. You also lose your freedom to live the lifestyle you choose, even if it isn't the healthiest lifestyle of all.

As reported by the BBC, Britain's socialized medicine establishment is considering a ban on all sugary drinks, especially soda, because of the health problems they can lead to. And since taxpayers fund the National Health Service and pay for most healthcare, bureaucrats who run the NHS are only trying to make the best use of scarce funds.

But that will require some major loss of freedoms.

The nanny state hikes taxes and tells you how to live

At present, the NHS is only asking staff and the general public about whether or not to ban or impose a tax on any sugary drinks sold in hospitals. Understand, however, that if this camel gets its nose under the tent, a wider ban will follow.

Chief executive Simon Stevens has said he wants the NHS to set a health example, and to "practise what we preach." He also said that trials at four NHS hospitals show that other options could work. Trials and consultation will continue until Jan. 18, 2017.

If a plan is enacted, it would make England the first country in the world to take such a dramatic measure.

In addition to sodas, other sugary drinks under consideration include fruit juices, sweetened milk-based drinks and sweetened coffees.

If the tax idea is approved instead of the outright ban, officials with NHS say a 20 percent hike on sugary drinks may raise between $26 million and $50 million extra per year. Those proceeds would be put back into patient charities and "health and wellbeing programmes," in order to keep the NHS's 1.3 million employees fit.

So, in other words, British citizens would be paying to keep government workers healthier, but everyone would suffer the loss of a lifestyle choice. But again, that's what happens when you turn your life over to government; bureaucrats get to impose "solutions" to problems.

And sugary drinks do cause health problems, without question; no one who is serious is denying that. As Stevens noted, "Confronted by rising obesity, type 2 diabetes and child dental decay, it's time for the NHS to practise what we preach."

Continuing, he said that by putting the increased taxes back into staff health and patient charities, "these proposals are a genuine win-win opportunity to both improve health and cut future illness cost burdens for the NHS."

Big government deciding how you should live your life is tyranny

That's true. But a ban will hurt others as well.

The British soft drink industry, for instance, is none too pleased with this trend of banning or taxing their products. "It's hard to see how a ban on soft drinks can be justified given that the sector has led the way in reducing consumers' sugar intake – down by over 17% since 2012," said Gavin Partington of the British Soft Drinks Association.

He added that the industry last year set a goal of reducing calories in soft drinks 20 percent by 2020. "Given that the government is looking to introduce a soft drinks tax in 2018 it seems slightly odd that another public body wishes to duplicate this process," Partington noted.

As stated earlier, there is no question that sugary soft drinks cause a host of health problems – obesity being the biggest one, with a number of health issues stemming from that.

But liberty-minded people who are otherwise paying their own way should also be free enough to decide for themselves how they want to live. If that's the kind of lifestyle they choose, and they are paying their own way, so be it. Teach them what you can about eating better and more healthily and hope that it helps.

These choices are made for you, however, when you hand over all control to a government body. That's not freedom, that's tyranny – even if decisions are supposedly made in your best interests. First a soda ban to "save money," and then ... what's next?





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