She Took On Colombia’s Soda Industry. Then She Was Silenced.
Posted on November 13, 2017 | The New York Times by
The debate over taxing sugary drinks has turned into a ferocious global policy brawl. In Colombia, proponents faced intimidation and censorship.
BOGOTÁ, Colombia — It began with menacing phone calls, strange malfunctions of the office computers, and men in parked cars photographing the entrance to the small consumer advocacy group’s offices.
Then at dusk one day last December, Dr. Esperanza Cerón, the head of the organization, said she noticed two strange men on motorcycles trailing her Chevy sedan as she headed home from work. She tried to lose them in Bogotá’s rush-hour traffic, but they edged up to her car and pounded on the windows.
“If you don’t keep your mouth shut,” one man shouted, she recalled in a recent interview, “you know what the consequences will be.”
NYC calorie rule scrutinized in courts of law, and science
Posted on August 26, 2017 | Associated Press by Jennifer Peltz
NEW YORK (AP) — As a court fight simmers over New York City’s pioneering requirement for calorie counts on chain restaurant menus, scientists say the jury’s still out on whether giving people the numbers spurs them to eat healthier.
The city says that by requiring eateries to tell people that their $4 cheeseburger will also cost them about 540 calories, it’s helping diners make informed choices in an era of rising obesity.
New York City’s first-in-the-nation rule took full effect in 2008. It was copied by other cities and counties and a half-dozen states and became part of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul. The repeatedly delayed federal regulation, which extends to grocery and convenience store chain menus, is now set to take effect next year.
Following Philly, Chicago's county starts similar soda tax
Posted on August 2, 2017 | Philly.com by Don Sapatkin
Chicago’s Cook County this week became the latest and by far the largest jurisdiction to impose a tax on sugary beverages, and the only one to follow Philadelphia’s lead in including diet drinks.
Six places across the country have passed levies on sugary beverages since Mayor Kenney signed the 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax a year ago. Retailers in Cook County, the nation’s second-most-populous county with 5.2 million people — nearly half of them in the country’s third-most-populous city — began collecting the one-cent tax on Wednesday, although a court decision last week that cleared the way for the tax is being appealed.
A Blow to Big Soda in Cook County
Posted on July 28, 2017 | Real Food Media
At Real Food Media today, we’re doing a happy dance.
The sugary drinks tax approved by Cook County—home to one of the nation’s largest cities, Chicago—can move forward, despite Big Soda attempts to block implementation in the courts.
As our colleagues at Healthy Food America said in the wake of the ruling, “We are pleased that Cook County is a step closer to making a real difference in the health of its residents.”
Starting with Mexico’s 2013 approval of a sugary drinks tax and the city of Berkeley’s win in 2014, these taxes are catching on: Cook County joins Philadelphia, Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, and Albany, California. And the research on tax implementation is showing they work, reducing consumption of sugary drinks and upping consumption of water, while generating much needed revenue.
Healthy Food America’s resources for advocates
Posted on July 21, 2017 | Food Politics by Marion Nestle
Healthy Food America is relatively new on the food advocacy scene but I am always impressed by the useful resources it produces.
It is my go-to place for information about soda taxes and other ways to reduce sugars and sugary drinks.
It offers, for example:
- Soda tax maps
- Report with Ninjas for Health on Coca-Cola’s involvement with researchers and reporters
- Toolkit for advocates working to reduce sugars
- Research Watch summaries
- Daily news feed
Delaware can close fiscal gap with a soda tax
Posted on June 10, 2017 | Delaware Online by Jack Guerin
According to Healthy Foods America, a national nonprofit focused on driving change in food policy, a soda tax in Delaware would generate $52 million annually. Our General Assembly is approaching an impasse because of resistance to proposed cuts in education and other critical areas. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is expanding preschool education programs based on new revenue from the soda tax that was passed last year.
Seattle City Council Approves The Nation's Eighth Soda Tax
Posted on June 6, 2017 | Forbes by Nancy Fink Huehnergarth
The Seattle City Council, yesterday, approved a 1.75 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks by a vote of 7-1. The tax is the eighth such measure passed in the United States since 2014. The tax, which covers sugary drinks like sodas, sports and energy drinks, fruit drinks and sweet teas, will be levied at the distributor level but is expected to be passed on to consumers. The tax will also likely reduce sales and consumption of non-nutritious sugary drinks, as has been demonstrated in Mexico (a 10% reduction in sales in 2015 due to a peso-per-liter tax) and Berkeley, CA (a 10% reduction in sales since the implementation of a penny-per-ounce tax.)
Pediatricians Say No Fruit Juice For Children Under One Year, Less For Older Kids
Posted on May 22, 2017 | Forbes by Nancy Fink Huehnergarth
You may soon see fewer children drinking fruit juice from baby bottles, sippy cups or glasses.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new policy statement that urges reductions in fruit juice consumption for infants, children and adolescents. The recommendations, which point out the “potential detrimental effects” of drinking fruit juice, are published in the May issue of Pediatrics
The statement links excessive fruit juice consumption to “inappropriate” weight gain and dental decay among children due to its high sugar content and “the lack of protein and fiber in juice.” It encourages pediatricians to become “knowledgeable about juice [and] to inform parents and patients on its appropriate uses.”
Illinois soda tax could cut health costs, raise $561 million in revenue annually
Posted on April 25, 2017 | Chicago Tribune by Greg Trotter
A penny-per-ounce state tax on sugar-sweetened beverages could raise $561 million a year in new revenue for Illinois, while also saving millions in health care costs associated with obesity and diabetes, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The report was commissioned and funded by Healthy Food America.
Berkeley Soda Tax Cut Consumption By 10%, Boosting Efforts Of Anti-Soda Crusaders
Posted on April 19, 2017 | Forbes by Rob Waters
A two-year-old tax on soda in Berkeley, California, led to a 9.6% drop in sales of sugary beverages by Berkeley retailers and raised $1.5 million for health and nutrition programs in its first year of operation, according to a study released yesterday.
The results add momentum to the growing movement to brand soda as a bad actor that is fueling the rise of obesity, diabetes and heart disease and to use taxes as a weapon to reduce consumption, said James Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America, a Seattle nonprofit that is helping coordinate anti-soda efforts.
Multiple studies in Berkeley and Mexico, which imposed a nationwide tax on soda and junk food in 2014, have now shown that the taxes do reduce consumption. The taxes also raise money that can fund health initiatives and help educate the public about the health risks posed by soda.
“It’s a trifecta,” Kreiger said. “Soda taxes have become a public policy tool that achieves three goals. It’s a win-win-win.”