When I was 5 years old, I used to chug a bottle of coke. I was hyper to the brim from all the coke I drank. But, since coke gave me so much caffeine, I had so many digestive problems. I would vomit in the classroom and be sent back home. I would complain to my mom because I had acid in my throat. I would eat just one dish and then, not eat anything for the whole day. But, I kept looking for coke. I don't know, but I would keep looking. Little did I knew that my mother hid the coke in the cabinets. For many kids, it is a familiar story.

It's funny. When we were in elementary school, we were told to eat healthy. But, we weren't told to stop drinking soda.

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Whenever there was an important event, teachers would bring coke and other sodas. Kids would eagerly hold their cups for their favorite brand of soda. Sure, there is nothing wrong with drinking soda itself. It can be done in moderation. But, little kids couldn't moderate themselves, even with parental guidance.

They are a rambunctious bunch. They crave sugary things. One sip of coke and they are eager for more. They keep drinking more and then, they become obese. If not obese, then they would have digestive health problems like I had as a kid. If not digestive health problems, then they would get diabetes. For a common drink for kids, soda sure causes a lot of health problems. It's so addictive yet so unhealthy. What are we ever going to do about it?

Leaving coke alone: Georgia and SHAPE

Lee Fang from The Intercept reported that Brenda Fitzgerald will be the new Chief of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Brenda Fitzgerald worked as the health commissioner of Georgia. Fitzgerald, along with then-Governor of Georgia Nathan Deal, launched the program SHAPE. SHAPE was supposed to deter #Childhood Obesity through increased use of physical activity in elementary school. Muhtar Kent, the chairman of the Coca Cola company, funded the program with $1 billion dollars.

It may be a nice gesture. But, you must consider that Coca Cola wanted an obesity program to not mention them at all. The $1 billion dollars that Kent gave seemed to be more like hush money. On another note, SHAPE seemed to encourage a delicate balance: kids would do a healthy activity like exercise and get to indulge in their sugary drinks.

Many years have passed since SHAPE was created. The results of the program weren't ideal. Georgia now has the highest rates of childhood obesity in the United States, with the rate being 16.5% for obese children and 18.5% for overweight children. Apparently, just exercising doesn't work. Now, we must target the source itself.

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Making soda responsible: California and the soda tax

Lee Fang compared Georgia's approach with California, where numerous cities in the state passed soda taxes. In one particular city, Berkeley, soda sales are down while water sales are up. The city itself collected over $2.5 million dollars from the tax. Since the #Soda Tax passed as of last year, it is unknown how much it would affect the childhood obesity rate.

But, Frederick McGee from the San Diego Tribune said that the soda tax won't do much for childhood obesity rates. He reported that while the sales in stores in Berkeley fell 24%, the sales in stores in neighboring cities only fell 5%. This implies that people are leaving the city to get untaxed beverages. Therefore, the addiction still remains.

In addition, McGee recognizes that soda isn't just the culprit. It is other sugary drinks like milkshakes. Since other Californians are using them for their #Sugary Drink fix instead of soda, their calorie intake still increases. Therefore, the obesity rate won't even decrease.

No escape

A soda tax is merely a band-aid that can easily fall off because we are just so addicted to sugary drinks. Many kids grew up craving for soda and other sugary drinks, but they became obese or ridden with health problems. Officials in Georgia tackle the sugary addiction by suggesting just exercise and nothing else. Thus, a kid can feel healthier and can satisfy their urges. But, they would still be obese. On the other hand, officials in California tackle the addiction by trying to eliminate the source. But, they underestimate the height of the addiction. Children would beg their families for soda so much that they would be eager to get out of the city and go to another store for a cheaper price. Even if it's not soda, then kids would then be addicted to another kind of sugary drink.

It seems that no matter how hard we try, we will never escape our sugary drinks addiction.