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Bernie vs Big Soda?
Big Soda is feeling the Bern, but not in the way they might have hoped. Senator Sanders said today he has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Big Soda to stop using his likeness in its deceptive ads to fight sugary drink tax measures. In a statement to Politico he said:
"Advertising from the American Beverage Association that implies that I oppose ballot items in San Francisco and Oakland that would place a tax on drinks with sugar are false. I have not taken any position on those ballot items, and I have asked the American Beverage Association to stop using my name in connection with this misleading advertising."Read more
New reports show how retailers and advertisers push sugar on kids
Parents are becoming ever more concerned about the amount of sugar their kids are ingesting, yet U.S. children are eating three times the recommended daily limit. Three recent reports offer new insights as to why that is (Hint: It’s not because parents don’t care.)
The Center for Science in the Public Interest hired investigative journalist Gary Rivlin, a former business reporter for the New York Times, to look into retailer practices that push high-sugar products. The resulting report, Rigged: Supermarket Shelves for Sale, sheds light on the “pay to play” system for deciding which items are stocked on grocery shelves.Read more
New report: How the sugar industry high-jacked the science of what causes heart disease
Researchers have unearthed long-buried documents that shed light on how, starting in the 1960s, the sugar industry co-opted nutrition science to shift blame for heart disease away from sugar to an exclusive focus on fat and cholesterol, according to a report published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The team of Stanton Glantz, Cristin Kearns and Laura Schmidt of the University of California, San Francisco discovered and analyzed archival documents that suggest the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF), which later evolved into the Sugar Association, covertly sponsored research casting doubt on the health hazards of sugar. According to the UCSF report, SRF paid Harvard scientists $50,000 for a for 1967 literature review on coronary heart disease (CHD), published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that downplayed sugar consumption as a risk factor.Read more
Study: Warning labels may steer teens away from sugary drinks
Warning labels on sugary drinks are a promising strategy to steer teenagers away from buying sugary drinks, new research shows.
The study, published today in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine surveyed American teenagers and found they were less likely to select sugary drinks that bore labels warning that added sugar(s) can contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.Read more
While Coke pushes sugary drinks in US, it bets on Zero Sugar in UK
Shortly after the United Kingdom finance minister announced a plan to introduce a tax on sugary drinks, headlines in Great Britain declared, “Coke bets on Zero Sugar.”
The new soda ads were described as the "biggest marketing investment in a decade.” As the general manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain explained, “We know a growing number of people want to reduce their sugar intake.” He also knows that number will grow much higher when the UK’s tax on sugary drinks becomes effective in 2018.
Meanwhile in the United States, Coca-Cola continues to heavily promote the high-sugar versions of its drinks.Read more
Philly mayor’s messaging was key to soda tax success
As other cities look to repeat Philadelphia’s success in taxing sugary drinks to support important community priorities, they will no doubt look back to Mayor Jim Kenney’s framing of the issue and his consistent use of messages to support it throughout the campaign. Here, for your handy reference, are some of his best lines:
In his March 3rd budget address, the mayor made the case for the sugary drinks tax as the only way to fund universal pre-K and other benefits for poor and minority communities – the same communities that Big Soda targets with millions of dollars spent on advertising its harmful products:
“But none of that can happen, not the stimulus, not the reduction in taxes, not pre-k, not community schools, not desperately needed investment in parks, rec centers and libraries, if we don’t pass a sugary drink tax. There is simply nowhere else to find this revenue…Read more
FDA to industry: Stop hiding sugar behind terms like ‘evaporated cane juice’
Now that federal dietary guidelines have identified excessive added sugar as a health concern, the Food and Drug Administration is taking a series of steps to bring it out of hiding. Not only will we see new changes to the nutrition labels, but FDA also is directing processed food makers to stop using euphemisms like “evaporated cane juice”.
Our executive director, Jim Krieger, explained to Quartz reporter Chase Purdy that these moves are as welcome as they are overdue:
“This long-awaited change represents a real victory for consumers and their health,” said Jim Krieger, director of the non-profit group Healthy Food America, in a statement. “The science is clear that added sugars, which today appear in 68 percent of packaged food and beverages, are a key contributor to rising rates of diabetes and liver, heart and dental disease.”Read more
FDA changes nutrition panel to bring added sugar out of hiding
First Lady Michelle Obama this morning announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration final approval of a requirement that food makers list grams of added sugars on nutrition-facts panels, along with the percentage of the recommended daily maximum they represent. Dr. Jim Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America, issued this statement in response:
“This long-awaited change represents a real victory for consumers and their health. The science is clear that added sugars, which today appear in 68 percent of packaged food and beverages, are a key contributor to rising rates of diabetes and liver, heart and dental disease.Read more
Philly soda tax would prevent thousands of cases of obesity, extend lives, avert millions in health costs over 10 years, Harvard model projects
Philadelphia’s proposed tax on sugary drinks would reduce consumption of health-harming beverages enough to prevent thousands of cases of obesity, extend lives and avert millions in healthcare costs over 10 years, researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health have concluded.
With funding from Healthy Food America, researchers for Harvard’s CHOICES project localized their national, peer reviewed model to examine the potential health impact of Philadelphia’s proposed sugary drink tax. They project that the tax of 3 cents per ounce would persuade regular consumers of sugary drinks to lower their intake. As a result, the model projects that 36,000 fewer people would be obese at the end of 2025 than without the tax. When the tax reaches its full effect over the next decade, as many as 2,280 cases of diabetes a year could be prevented. The prevented cases of obesity will result in lower estimated 10-year health care costs, with projected savings averaging $200 million.*Read more