The facts on kids’ drinks, a soda tax update & more


This is shaping up as a watershed year for efforts to address the prevalence of sugary drinks that lead to health issues, particularly by taxing Big Soda to pay for important priorities.  As other communities begin to discuss advancing such proposals, the "soda tax" debate in Philadelphia is really heating up, and as the Philly Inquirer reported, people across the country are watching. (See an update on Philadelphia below.) But as we report below, soda is not the only drink to be concerned about, especially if you're a parent of young kids. Read on for more details:

New HFA Fact Sheet

Fruit-flavored drinks and little kids


Have you ever looked at the ingredients for Sunny D? Or Capri Sun? Yep, just as much added sugar as soda. Fruit-flavored drinks – often masquerading as "juice" with health benefits – are a leading source of added sugars in the diets of young kids.  Parents are six times more likely to rate things like Sunny D and Capri Sun as healthy compared with soda.  Just like soda though, fruit-flavored drinks increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, and dental decay.  You can find these and other unsettling features of fruity drinks in our new fact sheet.

Do you want to bring sugar consumption back down to healthy levels? Help us spread the word that fruit-flavored drinks are sugar-delivery vehicles with little to no fruit or health benefits.

Have a Twitter account? Copy & Share on Twitter:

Parents are misled thinking fruit-flavored drinks are healthy 4 kids. Help change that! #PhonyFruitDrinks @HealthyFA

You can also join the #FoodFri Tweet Chat on Friday, March 13th at 1 pm ET as we tackle the tough questions about reducing added sugar. Read More.

Research Watch - Issue 3

Opportunities to address parents' misperceptions about sugary drinks

Healthy Food

In this month's Research Watch, we take a deeper dive into on parents' beliefs about sugary drinks and what can be done to fix misperceptions. We look at a recent study that shows education campaigns may need to focus on the sugar content of non-soda sugary drinks. (For a head start, see the fact sheet above.) Learn more about how to address misperceptions about fruit drinks, sports drinks, and flavored waters, especially among communities of color.

As a key player in the movement, we wanted you to be among the first see our monthly summary of important research findings on the impacts of sugar on health, and related policy. We hope Research Watch will help you stay on top of this rapidly developing body of knowledge and inform your strategic thinking, communications and advocacy work..

Support for Philly soda tax builds


Support for Philadelphia's soda tax continues to grow even as opponents scour their predictable playbook for scare tactics, stunts and misdirection. Advocates, health professionals, and businesses are joining their voices in support, while Big Soda pulls out its checkbook and Big Tobacco's old playbook to fight progress. With several other cities joining Philadelphia in considering sugary drink tax proposals, this year could be a turning point for the movement. We're seeing the issue garner mainstream acceptance and look forward to watching it gain supporters in Philadelphia and across the country.

Philly soda tax would prevent thousands of cases of obesity, extend lives, avert millions in health costs over 10 years, Harvard model projects

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 and projected savings averaging $200 million.

...more from our Blog

Lyrics we'd like to see on Coke cans


With soda consumption reaching record lows, the industry is scrambling to turn sales around. To that end, the soda giant Coca Cola is putting song lyrics on cans and bottles so young people will consume more of its liquid candy. The current bid to co-opt pop culture is the latest twist on an old gambit but advocates are fighting back with lyrics that tell the truth about how soda harms health. Songs like "Killing me softly" by Roberta Flack and "Do you really want to hurt me" by Culture Club are just some of the dedications we have for Big Soda. Read More.

Continue the discussion!

We'd love to hear from you! 
Please take a minute to give us some feedback to make this as useful as possible. If you have tips on research we should cover, please send them to Petra Vallila-Buchman at [email protected]. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyFA.

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Yours Truly,

David Goldberg
Healthy Food America



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