Where ‘Yes! To Affordable Groceries’ Really Means No to a Soda Tax
Posted on November 2, 2018 | The New York Times by
SEATTLE — Standing in a supermarket produce aisle, her face shadowed with dread, the middle-aged woman speaks directly to the camera and makes a plea for common decency.
“We should not be taxed on what we eat,” she says in a commercial that is being broadcast across Washington State. “We need to eat to survive, and if we have to cut back on what we eat, that’s not going to be good — especially for the elderly.”
In the run-up to Election Day, residents of Washington and Oregon have been bombarded with similar messages from groups with names like Yes! To Affordable Groceries. The organizations have spent more than $25 million on commercials that feature plain-spoken farmers and penny-pinching moms urging support of ballot measures that would prohibit municipalities from taxing food sales.
American Adults Just Keep Getting Fatter
Posted on March 23, 2017 | The New York Times by
American adults continue to put on the pounds. New data shows that nearly 40 percent of them were obese in 2015 and 2016, a sharp increase from a decade earlier, federal health officials reported Friday.
The prevalence of severe obesity in American adults is also rising, heightening their risks of developing heart disease, diabetes and various cancers. According to the latest data, published Friday in JAMA, 7.7 percent of American adults were severely obese in the same period.
The data — gathered in a large-scale federal survey that is considered the gold standard for health data — measured trends in obesity from 2015 and 2016 back to 2007 and 2008, when 5.7 percent of American adults were severely obese and 33.7 percent were obese. The survey counted people with a body mass index of 30 or more as obese, and those with a B.M.I. of 40 or more as severely obese.
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.”