Big Soda’s record-breaking spending to fight taxes on sugary drinks keeps climbing as the companies sense a national turning point should one or more of them pass. … If voters approve all four initiatives on Tuesday it would be a huge win in terms of lives and dollars saved, according to Harvard research. ... Our latest edition of Research Watch looks at a new study that found almost 100 national health organizations accepted sponsorship from soda companies in 2011 to 2015 and analyzes the implications for health policies.
This Week's Campaign News
Coke, Pepsi and the American Beverage Association have now spent over $40 million to protect profits against health-promoting efforts this year, with more than $28 million going against the ballot measures in San Francisco and Oakland. Big Soda is still outspending the pro side on paid media by nearly two to one but earned media has helped narrow that gap. We’ll soon know if Big Soda’s record breaking spending will win out over the science and the health of the community or if Boulder and the Bay Area will rack up another win for kids. Read more.
Bay Area and Boulder soda taxes would extend lives, avert millions in health costs over 10 years, Harvard model projects
Taken together, the three soda tax measures in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Boulder would extend hundreds of lives and cut diabetes and obesity rates while saving more than $60 million in healthcare costs over the next decade, researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health have concluded. Commenting on the study, our executive director Jim Krieger told Forbes, “The Bay Area’s actions will especially help low-income people and communities of color, who are disproportionately targeted both by the marketing of sugary drinks and the diseases associated with drinking them regularly.”
Our Dan Taber told Bloomberg News that a tax on sugary beverages has "enormous potential to reduce disease rates and improve quality of life." Our David Goldberg was also quoted and said, “The science on the connection between sugary drinks and health is rock-solid at this point.”
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What combination of incentives or restrictions would lead to healthier diets among recipients of food benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program? What is the extent of soda company sponsorship of national health organizations and lobbying expenditures on legislation? Are adolescents motivated to make healthier food and drink choices by appeals to values of autonomy and concern for social justice? Find out in this month's Research Watch
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