HFA Newsletter, May 2017


In this month’s newsletter: Santa Fe voters rejected a sugary drink tax ... A new study found that the Berkeley soda tax is reducing sales of sugary drinks, raising sales of water and not lowering store revenues ... How did San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, CA pass their sugary drink taxes? We have the details ... The peer reviewed policy impact model, CHOICES, projects that a tax on sugary drinks in Illinois could prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of obesity and avert millions in healthcare costs ... Our latest edition of Research Watch highlights the continued reduction in sales of sugary drinks in Mexico, how poor diet contributes to nearly half of all cardiometabolic deaths, and much more.

Santa Fe voters reject sugary drink tax


Photo Credit: Kyle Pfister, Ninjas for Health

Santa Fe voters rejected a 2 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks that would have raised nearly $8 million for expanded pre-K. The loss offers up a rare win for the soda industry, which, in the last year, has seen sugary drink taxes pass in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, CA; Boulder, CO; Cook County, IL; and, Philadelphia, PA. “The deep-pocketed soda industry, once again, swept into a city trying to enact a sugary drink tax and worked overtime to derail the measure,” said Dr. Jim Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America. Read more.

Berkeley sugary drink tax is working, new study shows


According to a new study, co-led by researchers at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Public Health Institute of Oakland, CA, one year after the implementation of a penny-per-ounce sugary drink tax, Berkeley saw sales of sugary beverages drop nearly 10 percent as water sales went up and store revenue remained constant. Read more.

New profiles share key lessons from Bay Area soda tax campaigns

Last November, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, CA each passed a penny-per-ounce sugary drink tax, joining Berkeley, CA to fund community health and wellness programs and reduce consumption of unhealthy beverages. How did they do it? How much did they spend? How much did the beverage industry spend to oppose them? Which strategies and tactics yielded the best results? These new profiles will fill you in on best practices and lessons learned by these three California cities. Read more.

Illinois sugary drink tax would save millions of lives and dollars, Harvard model projects

Using a peer-reviewed policy impact model known as CHOICES, Harvard researchers project that a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks in Illinois would reduce consumption of health-harming beverages enough to reduce incidence of diabetes, prevent about 116,000 of cases of obesity and avert millions in healthcare costs over 10 years. Read more.

Research Watch Volume 2 - Issue 2

In the latest edition of HFA’s Research Watch, a bimonthly compendium of the most current and compelling research on sugar, health and policy, you’ll find:

A study that set out to determine what percentage of cardiometabolic deaths in the U.S. is attributable to dietary factors, including regular consumption of sugary drinks. The authors combined dietary data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) with data on causes of death from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), along with existing estimates of the effect of diet on disease.

We also look at the purchases of sugary beverages among Mexican households continued in the second year following the implementation of a peso-per-liter tax on sugary drinks in Mexico. Read more.

Webinar - Implementing Sugary Drink Taxes: Outreach, Collection and Fighting Industry Litigation

Please join our next webinar -- Implementing Sugary Drink Taxes: Outreach, Collection and Fighting Industry Litigation, Monday May 15th at 2pm ET/11am PT

If your municipality is implementing a sugary drink tax or considering a tax policy, this webinar offers advice about what your city should prepare for after that win. Panelists from Berkeley’s and Philadelphia’s public health, tax and revenue and, legal departments will share what they learned while blazing the trail, and will answer your questions.

Solid implementation assures:

  • Sugary drink tax revenues are collected and fund targeted community investments;
  • That stores, restaurants and distributors that sell sugary drinks are clear about what is taxed and who pays;
  • A bulwark against industry litigation.

How to attend: Email Sara Soka at [email protected], who will send login information the week prior.

Did we miss someone? Feel free to pass this invitation to anyone you think may be interested.

Highlights From Our Media Updates

In case you missed them, here are some recent stories we found noteworthy:

Berkeley’s soda tax is working as it was designed (San Francisco Chronicle)

Santa Clara adopts country’s toughest regulation on drinks in fast food kids’ meals (KTVU News)

Pepsi’s pulled protest ad is part of a long history of big soda exploiting black and Latino youth (Vox)

Teenagers drink a bathtub of sugary drinks a year (Cancer Research UK)

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