As U.S. lawmakers continue to tackle healthcare reform, the debate is raging on whether or not to tax soda and junk food.

According to a recent Reuters report, the U. S. obesity epidemic has become a public health crisis. Overweight adolescents are starting to suffer problems, such as early heart diseases and type 2 diabetes - health problems that used to plague middle-aged adults.

To combat the obesity problem, unhealthy foods could be taxed to. Propponents of the taxes suggest tax revenue could help offset the estimated $147 billion cost of treating obesity-related diseases.

The article reports that a tax of 3 cents on every 12-ounce can of soda would raise $50 billion over 10 years. And, a 10 percent increase in sugar-sweetened beverage prices could cut consumption by 8 percent to 10 percent.

Opponents of the taxes argue that taxes never made anyone healthy. Education, exercise and balanced diets do.

Click here to read Battle lines drawn over soda, junk food taxes

Source: Reuters