HFA Newsletter, May 2018


In this month’s newsletter: Newly updated HFA SSB Tax Policy Profiles are available…A new review looks at 100% fruit juice consumption…A roundup of recent media coverage of the sugar reduction movement, and more.

HFA releases updated SSB Tax Policy Profiles

Policy Profiles

Hot off the presses! HFA just released updated SSB Tax Policy Profiles for: Albany, Berkeley, Boulder, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Mexico. The updated profiles include a look at implementation for each policy, as well as how much revenue is being generated, and how this revenue is being spent. Be sure to check them out online.

UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy is Working

UK Soft Drinks

A recent BMJ blog post reports that the levy has not only successfully encouraged suppliers to reformulate products but has also created a price differential between SSB and sugar-free beverages. J T Winkler and Tam Fry: Making the healthy choice the cheaper choice (BMJ Blog 5/14/18)

Research Spotlight: Is 100% Fruit Juice Associated with Increased Risk of Chronic Disease?

Fruit Juice

Healthy Food America co-authored a new article: Review of 100% Fruit Juice and Chronic Health Conditions: Implications for Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Policy. Auerbach B, Dibey S, Vallila-Buchman P, Kratz M, Krieger J. Advances in Nutrition 2018; 9(2): 78–85.

Abstract. Whether or not drinking 100% fruit juice causes poor health is controversial. Although 100% fruit juice may contain as much sugar as regular soda, it provides needed nutrients to Americans’ diets. We systematically reviewed the current evidence of the association of 100% fruit juice consumption and chronic health conditions in children and adults. We focused on data from systematic reviews and meta-analyses about cardiometabolic health outcomes, liver disease, and caries. Aside from increased risk of tooth decay in children and small amounts of weight gain in young children and adults, there is no conclusive evidence that consumption of 100% fruit juice has adverse health effects. Guidelines from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending that 100% fruit juice may be consumed in moderation are consistent with the available evidence and should be used to inform food policies.

HFA Sugar Consumption Report…Coming Soon!

Coming Soon

Over the last two decades, the sugary drink landscape has been changing. Between a plethora of new drinks on the market and reported changes in beverage sales, many people are confused or concerned about the current state of sugary drink sales and consumption patterns. This report describes the consumption and sales of sugary drinks in the United States over time and among demographic subgroups. Specifically, the report defines sugary drinks, describes health issues related to sugary drink consumption, and answers questions about how many sugary drinks are being consumed in the US and whether consumption patterns differ by age, race/ethnicity, and income. Be on the lookout for the release of the report this June.

Highlights From Our Media Updates

Media Update

Here are some noteworthy stories, in case you missed them:

Gov. Ducey signs bill barring Arizona cities from taxing sugary drinks (KTAR News 3/16/18)  “Gov. Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2484 on Friday, barring Arizona cities and counties from joining a growing national trend of taxing sugary drinks.”

American Adults Just Keep Getting Fatter (New York Times 3/23/18) “New data shows that nearly 40 percent of [adults] were obese in 2015 and 2016, a sharp increase from a decade earlier…” Read the full article for HFA’s Executive Director Jim Krieger’s quote.

Soft drinks tax is of greatest benefit to poorer households: Lancet (Beverage Daily 4/10/18) “Taxes levied on sweetened drinks and snack foods are of most benefit to the poor in helping to make long-term healthy lifestyle changes, a Lancet study concludes.”

Data Released Demonstrating Strong Employment in Sectors Affected by Philadelphia Beverage Tax (City of Philadelphia, Office of the Mayor 4/11/18) “While the beverage industry has spent more than a year spouting self-reported and unsubstantiated claims of job loss, we’re focused on studying actual data,” said Mayor Kenney. “Unemployment claims and Wage Tax collections offer empirical proof that the sectors most directly affected by the tax are seeing steady employment if not growth.”

After Tax, Philadelphians 40 percent less likely to drink soda every day (DrexelNOW 4/12/18) “Almost immediately after the “soda tax” went into place, Philadelphians were 40 percent less likely to drink soda every day, a new Drexel University study found.”

Soda industry cash may fuel 2018’s most expensive race (The Hill 4/26/18) “A new campaign committee organized by the California Business Roundtable — and initially funded by the American Beverage Association — is collecting signatures for a constitutional amendment in California aimed at November’s ballot that would require any new tax or fee levied by the state to win two-thirds supermajorities in the legislature…”

Pennsylvania’s highest court to determine sugary-drink tax’s fate (AMA Wire 5/4/18) “A coalition of retailers and retail groups that brought the lawsuit is appealing the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s decision in Williams et al. v City of Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, asking those justices to rule that the levy is duplicative of the general retail sales tax and, therefore, not allowed.” The court heard oral arguments on May 15.

Seattle collects more than $4M from new tax on sugary beverages (The Seattle Times 5/9/18) “For the first three months of its tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, Seattle has collected more than $4 million…Before the so-called soda tax began, officials estimated it would raise $14.8 million in 2018.”

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