Any policy-making process is considered an effective way to improve the population’s health. Health practitioners complete multiple tasks and develop strategies to support crucial priorities. Unhealthy sugary drinks create a serious challenge for the US society, and the American Medical Association (AMA) is interested in promoting new policies to prevent and treat sugar-related diseases (Krieger, 2017). In this paper, Longest’s policy cycle model will be used to enhance a change in a policy of taxing sugared beverages and analyze the opinions of its supporter, opponents, and potential stakeholders.
Longest’s Policy Cycle Model
Longest is the author of a model that can be implemented in American health policy-making. His work is introduced in the form of a continuous cycle with three phases, including formulation, implementation, and modification (O’Grady, 2020). During the formulation phase, it is necessary to gather evidence and prove sugared beverages as a threat to the American population. According to the AMA (as cited in Krieger, 2017), sugary products contribute to increased risks of diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity. The implementation phase aims at defining the goals and resources of the policy. In this case, increased excise taxes will be used as revenue to support education campaigns and develop quality initiatives. During the modification phase, revising and editing allow to remove inappropriate (unnecessary) steps and focus on taxes as the initial purpose.
Arguments to Support
To make the case of the policy, the supporters should focus on two main issues. First, attention is paid to the steps that prevent obesity and other sugar-related health problems. The government is interested in educating people and offering the best resources to promote public health. This policy is a chance to explain the side effects of sugary drinks and the worth of healthy beverages. Another benefit is the possibility to find new sources for education and experience exchange. Taxes are additional financial resources for the governments, and if people want to improve their health, their cooperation is required.
Arguments to Oppose
Sugary beverages have already created a specific industry in the market field. As soon as the government starts changing the taxing policy, business conflicts and concerns will occur. In addition, the use of sugary beverages is a voluntary choice, and if people are restricted from drinking what they like, they would be eager to raise such global problems as human rights and freedoms. Finally, the AMA (as cited in Krieger, 2017) explains the consumption of sugar as a risk but not an evident cause of serious diseases. Therefore, a policy of taxing may not have enough theoretical grounds for implementation.
Buy-In Strategies and Stakeholder Groups
To create the policy’s effective buy-in, it is necessary to enhance an understanding of human needs, be ready to answer questions, and develop an appropriate communication style. First, research will help to gather the required statistics and real facts to prove the existence of the sugar threat. Therefore, such stakeholders as scientists, medical healthcare workers, and even students may be the stakeholders for cooperation. However, ordinary people are not always eager to study research findings. Therefore, social media support is important, including Facebook posts and forum conversations. The exchange of personal experience will become a successful step for interest groups and hospital communities.
The use of a healthy policy model developed by Longest to promote a change in a policy of taxing sugared beverages is characterized by several supporters and positive statistics. People want to improve their health but have limited knowledge about how to begin changing something. The public’s health is an important theme for discussion among the representatives of the government, as well as medical facilities. Therefore, the chosen idea has to be introduced to the US population today.
Krieger, J. (2017). AMA adopts policies to reduce consumption of sugary drinks. Healthy Food America. Web.
O’Grady, E. T. (2020). The policy process. In D. J. Mason, D. B. Garner, F. H. Outlaw, & E. T. O’Grady (Eds.), Policy & politics in nursing and health care (pp. 52-64). Elsevier.