The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Should we remove soda and other sugary drinks from vending machines?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 393 times Debate No: 94088
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Hello. If you want to accept this debate, please let me know in the comments and I will decide. For Round 1, I will explain the rules and my opponent will accept this debate. For Round 2, arguments will be stated, and for the final round, rebuttals will be placed.


I accepted this debate on accident. I don't want to FF and have it held against me (since some of my other first round FF's weren't deleted) so I will post a round. If you don't want to debate me, you can tell the mod to remove it. My apologies for accepting this on accident. I would be happy to debate you if you wish to continue. Otherwise, Airmax can remove this. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1


I accept your apology. I will debate you on this topic. I believe we have debated on a previous topic, and I lost. I would like to see this as a second chance for me to try to improve. Good luck on this debate. I will provide three reasons, and you should provide a counter-framework.

1. High obesity rate

In the United States, the adult obesity rate for adults was 35% (as of 2014). More than one in three adults were obese. It was ranked 18th in the world for adult obesity. The CDC reports that about 17% of children aged 2 to 19 were obese (as of 2011 and 2012). This is about 12.7 million children in that age group. Sodas and other sugary drinks contains a lot of sugar. A 12 ounce can of Coca Cola has 35 grams of sugar in it. Under the 5 percent guideline, a person who takes in 2000 calories a day would limit sugar to 25 grams. But the amount of sugar in one can of coke goes over the sugar limit. Consuming extra calories and sugar is not good for the body, as it stores extra calories, which slowly add up. As you consume extra calories that you do not burn, you start adding extra unwanted pounds of fat.

2. High consumption of sugar leads to an unhealthy body.

Some of the effects after consuming too much sugar:

A. It overloads and damages your liver. The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.

B. It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signaling. Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body's appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or "the hunger hormone," which then fails to stimulate leptin or "the satiety hormone." This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance.

C. It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as classic metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

D. It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.

All of these related health problems because of sugar do not want to be experienced by anyone. To start that, we should remove sodas from vending machines.

3. Whoever places the vending machines know exactly where to place it.

People who place down vending machines know exactly where to put it. For example, say you were playing with friends at the park. After an hour or two, all of you are exhausted, and you start walking back to your car. However, there is a vending machine near your car. It would be pretty tempting to buy a nice, cold soda to cool off after a hot day. You see, this is exactly what people want to happen. Whoever sells the products in the vending machines want to tempt people and lure them into buying these drinks. Having vending machines in a fitness center is also another good place to place these vending machines. The vending machines are strategically placed so that people will be encouraged to buy soda and other sweet drinks. This is another reason on why we should remove sugary drinks from vending machines and replace them with healthier options.

These are my three reasons on why soda should be banned from vending machines. It can lead to some serious health effects that many people will not like.


Many thanks to my opponent for accepting my apology and agreeing to debate this with me.

Pro has provided three contentions: that obesity is problematic, that sugary drinks contribute to obesity, and that vending machines are strategically placed so as to attract customers. I will not be challenging any of these claims; all of these points are valid and true. However none of them provide enough cause to outweigh the pros of allowing sugary drinks to remain in vending machines.

1. Vending machines exist to satiate a consumer's demand. If someone prefers a sugary drink, that is their prerogative. Just because being healthy should be encouraged, doesn't mean that it should be forced. For some people, they splurge on a sugary drink while remaining healthy in their diet otherwise.

2. Sugar is unhealthy but one sugary drink is not particularly unhealthy. We allow the sale of other unhealthy products and services such as cigarettes, sun tanning salons, alcohol and fatty foods. The government should not be in the business of trying to ensure that everyone is healthy. It should be in the business of protecting rights and regulating trade. While there's no denying that sugary drinks are unhealthy, people have the right to choose to drink them whether in moderation or in excess.

3. While vending machines can provide sugary drinks, that doesn't mean they should ONLY provide sugary drinks. Water, seltzer and other healthy beverages can/should be offered in the same machines as those offering healthy drinks. This provides choice which is good for both consumers and vending machine owners looking to profit from trading with happy customers whose demands are being fulfilled.

4. What's the point in targeting vending machines in particular? People can still presumably buy sugary drinks in grocery stores, convenient stores and other locations, so it's not like this would be a meaningful move at curbing obesity.

5. The calories contained in a large soda alone "don"t explain the growth in obesity," according to Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University. Quoting statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture, Bhattacharya notes that "people eat about 500 more calories [a day] than they did 30 years ago. In 1975, we ate an average of 2,250 calories a day per person, and in 2000 we ate an average of 2,750 calories per person per day... The problem is there are other high-calorie, empty-nutrition foods [besides soda]. Focusing on one item is unlikely to address the obesity problem" [1].

Debate Round No. 2


In this round, my opponent and I will provide counter-examples for the other person's arguments.

1 and 2. For the first two arguments of my opponent, I think that the idea of "just one" is not a good one. Even if a person with a healthy diet drinks just one soda, that could cause that person to be addicted and will start drinking more soda. The same thing applies with cigarettes and drugs. Take it once and you will be doing it frequently. According to an article by Health Ambition, it talks about all of the "strange chemicals" in soda that lead to addiction and some related health problems.

3. Having water and soda in the same machine is not a very good idea. On any day, any person may be tempted to choose soda over water. Addicts will choose soda, and people who don't drink it may be tempted to try it.

4. I do not know many people who will bother to leave the house just to buy a can of soda. No, many people will not do that.

5. Focusing on part of the problem is a start. We should eradicate the source of obesity slowly, starting with soda in the vending machines. Once that is done, we can move on to something else like chips. We can't solve the entire thing at once, so we have to do it slowly.

I thank my opponent for deciding to debate this topic with me.


My opponent suggests that a person is not likely capable of drinking "just one" soda. In other words, he contests that people are not capable of moderation or self control. Not only has he not proven such a contention (and he's admitted that it's just an opinion), but he suggests the "strange chemicals" in soda will make it nearly impossible to stay away from it.

Yet the addictive chemicals found in soda (i.e. aspartame) are the same ones that are found in a ton of other food that is all around us including vending machines -- yet Pro singles out soda in particular [1]. Nonetheless, Pro's rebuttal is not sufficient at negating my claims. I've argued that some people splurge on sugary drinks while remaining healthy in their diet otherwise. Pro has dropped this. I've also argued in point 2 that the government is not and should not be in the business of ensuring that everyone makes healthy choices. My opponent has dropped this as well. Thus he misses my main two points; please extend.

In response to point 3, Pro says that people will choose soda if given the choice between soda and water. Again, it would be up to the individual. He says "addicts will choose soda" and the others would be tempted to have it. Soda is not healthy, but it's not amazingly unhealthy (especially in moderation) either. Some people might prefer a soda on a particular day because they need sugar or caffeine. It is not so incredibly harmful or addictive that it should not be an option. It doesn't overly harm other people, and it doesn't contain chemicals that are immediately or profoundly addictive and that cannot be curbed. Sure there are addictive properties in soda, but coffee is equally addictive yet nobody asks to ban that; we joke about and celebrate our addiction to coffee [2].

I wrote, "What's the point in targeting vending machines in particular? People can still buy sugary drinks in grocery stores, convenient stores and other locations, so it's not like this would be a meaningful move at curbing obesity." Pro says he doesn't think people will leave their house to buy a can of soda, but that doesn't negate my argument...

I've proven that soda cannot explain the rise in obesity. I sourced evidence proving it has more to do with the food we eat and how much we eat of it. Pro says that it's "a start" here with vending machines, but I've outlined some problematic reasons not to start there. Not only do people have the right to choice, but people have the right to provide choice (sell) to satiate demand. I've also explained how it's not possible and arguably immoral to try to inhibit unhealthy choices. Pro dropped all of my major contentions. My rebuttals have negated his arguments.

Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 months ago
>Reported vote: warren42// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Con (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Con wins sources as they were properly utilized, while Pro's side was devoid of sources, but abundant in claims that should have used them. Con also wins arguments due to the arguments about government not having a role in health and individuals making health decisions on their own accord. Though a government should undoubtedly encourage a healthy lifestyle, Pro did not refute that its not the role of government, but rather an individual to regulate health.

[*Reason for removal*] Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter has to establish that the sources used by Con were reliable, and not just that they were the only one to use sources at all.
Posted by tejretics 2 months ago
>since some of my other first round FF's weren't deleted

I don't understand... the debate automatically closes down if you forfeit in the first round. You will get a notification saying "you have forfeited round 1 of your debate," but the debate will no longer function.
Posted by brett.winstead 2 months ago
If you seriously (as in by law) want to remove soda from vending machines , you have not thought this through at all. Do you realize that soda is one of a bazillion products that are not healthy? Football and numerous other sports are not healthy either since they can lead to injury and death. Exactly, how do you expect government to decide what can be sold or not? Can I look through your kitchen and throw out all unhealthy things? Do you want to close most restaurants that exist? Wow, you have really not thought this through. Let's lower the speed limit to 25 too while we are legislating health.
Posted by Danielle 2 months ago
I accepted this debate on accident. I don't want to FF and have it held against me (since some of my other first round FF's weren't deleted) so I will post a round. If you don't want to debate me, you can tell the mod to remove it. My apologies for accepting this on accident.
Posted by devinator534 2 months ago
I would really like to get started, can you just pick someone? Do u have a timeline or something?
Posted by ConserativeDemocrat 2 months ago
I will accept.
Posted by devinator534 2 months ago
I will accept
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Udel 2 months ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argues about the high obesity rate. Con says sugary drinks are the not main cause of obesity and backed it up with quotes and sources from scientists who confirmed that banning sugary drinks would not accomplish much in terms of obesity, negating Pro's argument, and Con providing sources to back up her claims (3) while Pro did not present any sources or factual reference supporting his case. Pro argued that high consumption of sugar is unhealthy and vending machines are strategically placed to get people to buy them and be unhealthy. Con argued that people should have choices in what they buy and well, and pointed out we have unhealthy choices everywhere in life, not just sugary drinks. Con argued that there can be water and other options to encourage healthy choices but not restrict people's personal choice for their individual needs. Pro's only point was obesity but Con showed how choice is important and the smartest thing is encouraging better choices, not limiting options.