SEATTLE - Healthy Food America congratulates Seattle for becoming the eighth community in the US to join the growing national movement to adopt sugary drink taxes. We applaud Seattle’s health, early childhood and equity advocates; the City Council; and the Mayor for adopting a tax on sugary drink distributors of 1.75 cents tax per ounce. The move puts public health and community well-being above Big Soda’s multi-billion dollar profits.
Big Soda endeavors to divide communities using the cover of racial and cultural diversity, issuing threats of job loss and raising cries of “nanny state.” But make no mistake, Big Soda has one motive: profit. The reality is that scientific evidence of the harm caused by added sugar and sugary drinks is strong and growing. And recent studies show that taxes on sugary drinks work as one of the most effective strategies to reduce sales and consumption and thereby can prevent diabetes, obesity and other chronic health conditions.
Sugary drinks account for nearly half (46 percent) of the added sugars in the American diet. A tax will reduce sales and generate revenue that can be used to prevent and address chronic conditions created by sugary drinks in the most-affected communities. In Seattle, the tax is estimated to raise as much as $15 million per year. As with tobacco, taxing harmful products to increase public awareness of their negative health consequences and to make it easier for people to avoid them if they want is critical to preventing chronic diseases and helping people take better care of themselves and their families.
The passage of the sugary drink tax will undoubtedly encourage more communities to adopt this progressive policy so they too can reap its benefits.
About Healthy Food America
Healthy Food America acts on science to drive change in policy and industry practice so that all people can live in places where nutritious food is easy to obtain and exposure to unhealthy products is limited. Chronic diseases caused by poor nutrition from unhealthy foods and beverages are the major causes of death and poor health in the U.S., including obesity, diabetes, heart and liver disease or tooth decay. Communities of color and low-income families are hardest hit by these preventable conditions. Poor nutrition is the largest contributor to all these diseases, driven by the pervasive presence and relentless marketing of junk food and beverages, especially to kids and the most vulnerable. We are coordinating with other advocates to energize a national movement to roll back added sugars in food and beverages to healthful levels. Please read more about our work at HealthyFoodAmerica.Org.