Sugar-Sweetened Drinks: Bigger Than Ever

Sugar Soft Drrinks: Bigger Than Ever

Bechara Choucair, MD., Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health on the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) tax :

“. . . the challenge for those of us in public health is as clear as a glass of water. Convince the electorate that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: that the amount people would pay upfront in SSB taxes is a pittance compared to society’s savings down the road in reduced medical costs and longer and more productive lives—assuming taxes would result in reduced consumption of SSBs.

If it does, SSB levy is not only a tax all of us can live with, but live healthier.”

“Whatever the outcome of the current debate to increase taxes on SSBs, there is no denying that America’s obesity epidemic—leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other public health ills, is taking a terrible human and financial toll on the nation. We currently spend an estimated $79 billion annually in obesity-related health care costs; and that figure rises each year.”

— “The Debate Over Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages,” Bechara Choucair, MD, Britannica Blog.

Who could be against that? Big sugar, big bottlers, big beverage haulers and big retail, all masquerading as “Americans Against Food Taxes.”


 “The Food Lobby’s War on a Soda Tax,” Joe Eaton of the Center for Public Integrity and Christine Spolar of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.

“The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages,” Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., et al, New England Journal of Medicine.

“An Anti-Tax Argument That’s Hard to Swallow,” Randy Cohen, New York Times Magazine.

Soft Drink Taxes Bibliography, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, Yale.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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