Brownell's approach smacks of paternalism and over-reliance on government intervention. Shouldn't diet and weight be a matter of personal responsibility, not the government's concern? Brownell counters that the ubiquity and marketing of fattening food stack the deck against individual willpower, and their allure is more than many people can resist on their own, no matter how responsible they are.
As a physician, I really would LOVE it if my patients did have the willpower to curb their thirst for sugary drinks and fattening foods. However, I DO NOT want soda taxed higher in order to try and prove the good professor right. The bottom line is that no one food product is the culprit. If it is not soda then it would be something else. And then we would tax that. When would it end? The author's point (in the article) of personal responsibility is spot on. No one is forcing anyone else to stuff their face with poor quality food. I have heard all the stories about lower income people having no choice and I don't buy it. Sorry. This generation of twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings have been educated in school about nutrition and exercise. The medical community has been preaching to them as well during their office visits. At some point we can only do so much. I do not have an answer to the obesity dilemma but I would NOT add taxing foods as the next step.