Lots of exciting news today. Let's get right to it:
Breaking: Boulder will pursue a sugary drinks tax
Public health advocates in Boulder today filed a ballot measure for 2016 that will raise revenue from a soda tax to promote access to healthy foods and exercise for families and children in the city. Today’s action starts a city review of the proposed ballot language that can take up to 15 days, campaign organizers said. Once the language is certified, a coalition now coming together as Healthy Boulder Kids will have until June 28 to collect and submit the signatures required to qualify for the November ballot. Read More.
Last year, some dismissed the idea of taxing the beverages with added sugar just like we tax tobacco as “fringe”. But in 2016 the idea has hit the mainstream in a big way, both in the U.S. and abroad.
The latest milestone came Wednesday, when Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, campaigning in Philadelphia, said she supported the mayor’s plan to fund universal preschool with a tax on sugary drinks – especially given the goals for the revenue. “I'm very supportive of the mayor's proposal to tax soda to get universal pre-school for kids," Clinton said. "I mean, we need universal pre-school. And if that's a way to do it, that's how we should do it." Read More.
As a key player in the movement, we wanted you to be among the first see our monthly summary of important research findings on the impacts of sugar on health, and related policy. We hope Research Watch will help you stay on top of this rapidly developing body of knowledge and inform your strategic thinking, communications and advocacy work.
Record low soda consumption
The hard work of health advocates is paying off and showing real progress in changing norms. What’s the evidence? Coca Cola's quarterly sales just fell four percent amid growing health concerns about sugary drinks. Industry tracker Beverage Digest reported soda consumption hit a 30-year low in 2015.
But we still consume unhealty amounts of sugary drinks
We may be buying less soda, but many of us still drink a less than healthful amounts, and we’re replacing some of the soda with sports, energy and fruit drinks that are just as sugary. As we report in this month’s Research Watch, the CDC reports that 1 in 3 US adults consumes one or more sugary drinks per day. Younger adults (43%), men (34%), non-Hispanic Blacks (40%), and those with less than a high school education (42%) were more likely to consume sugary drinks daily. Consumption varies by geography, ranging from 46% in Mississippi to 18% in Vermont.
Stop the unrelenting march of diabetes
The World Health Organization reported this month that diabetes cases have quadrupled in just over three decades. So what can be done to stop the unrelenting march of this disease? Sugary drink taxes are one of the policy innovations experts are investigating as a way to stop the rise. For the first time, a sugary drink tax has even entered discussion on the presidential campaign trail with Hillary Clinton supporting the Philadelphia mayor’s plan.
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