Sugar-sweetened beverages are staples of today’s American diet. These beverages are inexpensive, abundant, high in calories, deliver little or no nutrition, and appeal to our taste for sweetness. They are heavily marketed, especially to children. Rigorous scientific studies have shown that consumption of SSBs contributes to poor diet, and risk for obesity, diabetes and a number of other serious health problems.
Chronic diseases related to poor diet cost the United States
billions of health care dollars each year—economists estimate
the health care costs of obesity alone to be in the range of $147
to $190 billion — and are complex problems that must be
addressed with multifaceted strategies.
Fees on SSBs can be conceived with two goals: raising revenue and changing consumption. They can:
1) raise considerable funds to be earmarked for nutrition initiatives
such as subsidies for healthy foods or programs in schools;
raise the relative price of unhealthy beverages, thereby discouraging consumption;
2) decrease sales of unhealthy beverages, and influence demand for healthier alternatives, which may encourage beverage manufacturers to reformulate their products; and convey the message that government and policymakers are concerned about nutrition and the public’s health.
Please support HB 854/SB 1085!
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