Posts Tagged ‘soda tax’

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks: Bigger Than Ever

December 7, 2010

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.”

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Soda Tax Morphs Into Sales Tax

May 27, 2010

Soda Tax Morphs into Sales Tax

The District of Columbia Council voted down a proposal to tax sugar-sweetened beverages, but turned around and passed a bill extending the city’s 6 percent sales tax to all “non-alcoholic beverages with natural or artificial sweeteners.”

The original proposal would have added 10 to 60 cents to the price of containers of full-sugar soda, punch or sports drink. The new bill taxes all sweetened beverages, even diet sodas without sugar. If it passes the final vote, the new tax would be easier to administer and will raise revenue, but it will not be the disincentive to sugar consumption the original bill sought to create. Sugary drinks contribute to obesity, a major American health problem.

 

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

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Jock Juice Kills Soda Tax Bill

May 24, 2010

Jock Juice Kills Soda Tax Bill

The District of Columbia Council was considering a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks last week when Ward 5 Council Member Harry Thomas, Jr.  started waving bottles of sugary “sports drink”:

“Thomas, armed with bottles of Gatorade, argued that the proposal was too confusing because it would also apply to some sports drinks and protein shakes.

‘This is a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade,’ said Thomas, a little league sports coach. ‘So if I take this 20 ounce bottle and the tax applies, that means each one is 20 cents more … for something I want my kids to have after a game.'”

If 20 cents would keep the Councilman from dosing innocent kids with over-priced Kool-Aid, that’s one more reason to pass such a bill. Sports drinks are bad for kids, and bad for legislation, too. Gatorade grandstanding worked; the DC Soda Tax bill is dead.

The soda tax bill was aimed at curbing childhood obesity and funding a healthy school lunch program. Sugar-drink champions beat the soda-taxers at their own game: they demanded sugary sports drinks “for the sake of the children.”

[Quoted excerpt above from “Council all but kills soda tax,” Tim Craig, Washington Post.]

More:

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Soda Tax Target

May 20, 2010

Soda Tax Target

“The typical American consumes almost three times as many calories from sugary drinks as in the late 1970s. This increase accounts for about half the total per capita rise in calorie consumption over the same period. Remember, many of these drinks have zero nutritional benefit — unlike meat, cheese, or juice. As Kelly Brownell, a Yale researcher, says, the link between obesity and soda is scientifically stronger than the link between obesity and any other type of food or beverage.”

“The Battle Over Taxing Soda,” Davis Leonhardt, New York Times.

 

Image (“Evolution, American-Style”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Soft Drink Tax

May 14, 2010

Soft Drink Tax

The District of Columbia is considering a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks. There is opposition:

“They taxed the cola drinkers,

and I didn’t speak up because I don’t drink cola.

Then they taxed the Diet Coke drinkers,

and I didn’t speak up because I don’t drink Diet Coke.

Then they taxed the Hawaiian Punch drinkers,

and I didn’t speak up because I don’t drink Hawaiian Punch.

Then they taxed the Perrier drinkers

and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

— after Martin Niemöller (1892–1984).

 

Image by Mike Licht. Symbols are registered to the respectice trademark holders (Coca Cola Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., Nestlé Waters North America) and are used here under the parody provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine.

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