Did you know that sugar-sweetened beverages account for 46 percent of Americans’ sugar consumption and are the leading driver of obesity and overweight in the US? Our body makes and likes glucose. However, fructose in the sweet beverages, contributes to abnormalities of our metabolic functioning, which can lead to Type II Diabetes, which was practically unheard of a generation ago.
This leads to many other serious and chronic health conditions such as, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, eye disease, etc. ALL PREVENTABLE!!! Taxing sugary beverages, soda in particular, are not only showing significant drops in sales (the economically disadvantaged unfortunately purchase the most of these products), and data suggest that a tax could not only encourage drinking healthy water, (and less expensive), but also reduce consumption by up to 20 percent, which could reduce Type II diabetes by 3.4 percent and obesity rates by 1.5 percent.
Not impressed? Berkeley, CA, a tax passed in just 2013 – already saved $1.5 million dollars. That’s in one small city with a population of just over 115,000, and the money saved is going to obesity prevention programs.
Other things to help:
• Warning labels: Under consideration – like on tobacco products – why not? Deadly stuff.
• Ads for kids and fast food meals: Almost a third of kids eat fast food daily - horrifying! This will be changing – some voluntarily already.
• Checkout Aisles: Impulse buyers: Notice the next time you’re at the grocery store – they love and know how we spend, so look at the coolers of sweetened drinks in front of nearly every checkout line.
• SNAP (food stamps): Unbelievably, these low-income benefits are used to purchase and promote $2 billion on soda annually.
The good news? Public support against sweetened beverages is growing but the soda industry is wealthy, healthy and strong. It will be quite a fight but we have to do our part. The consumers drive the products. If there’s no demand, they’ll have to make something else. When I worked for my school district, I got soda machines out of schools. Now it’s a law!!! Do your part to end this epidemic – all PREVENTABLE so we can outlive our kids!
Source: Grant Makers in Health: Policy Unsweetened: Tackling Sugar-Sweetened Beverages; January 19, 2016