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Looking back on a milestone year in the movement to curb sugar
Wow. What a groundbreaking year for the movement to bring sugar back to healthy levels! At the start of 2016, Berkeley CA was the only community in the United States with a tax on sugary drinks. We ended the year with six more, after every proposed tax went on to adoption, whether by ballot (four) or legislation (two).
Consumers also won a huge victory this year when the Food and Drug Administration finally approved a requirement that processed foods list grams of added sugars on nutrition labels, along with the percentage of the recommended daily maximum they represent.
It was the year when both news and social media caught a sugar buzz, as new awareness came to light about the health harms from sugar and industry efforts to pooh-pooh it.Read more
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
Avoid the sugar overload on Halloween and beyond
With less than two weeks until Halloween, the sugar overload season is upon us. Market research shows four major holiday seasons made up nearly half of US candy sales: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. This Halloween will be the first of those holidays celebrated since the American Heart Association recommended that children age 2-18 should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day and those age 0-2 should consume none. Compare that to the mounds of sugar that the typical trick-or-treater takes home in their Halloween candy.Read more
See how quickly added sugar adds up with our new calculator
Introducing the Sugar Overload Calculator -- our newest resource for moving science to action. Americans are awash in added sugar and our new game helps people see just how much of it lurks in our food and beverage products. We selected 12 popular items that contain added sugar to help people see how quickly it adds up.
Players select the number of servings in a typical day for each item and estimate the total. The calculator determines the actual total amount of added sugar and compares it to the daily maximum recommended by both the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association.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