Increase in tax on sugary drinks recommended in the United States

Fri, 13 Jan 2012
A new study has claimed that increasing the tax on sugary drinks could help reduce the risk of both obesity and cases of type 2 diabetes in the United States. It argued that increasing the tax on sugary drinks by only a penny-per-ounce could reduce consumption of fizzy drinks and levels of disease.

It was reported there were 13.8 billion gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed in the US in 2009, amounting to about 45 gallons per person, but that less consumption could reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 2.6 per cent, as well as preventing up to 95,000 coronary heart events, 8,000 strokes and 26,000 premature deaths.

The research, carried out at Columbia University and led by Y. Claire Wang, found that such a move could lead to the prevention of heart attacks, diabetes and strokes in the future. In addition, the move could lower medical costs in the country by around USD$17 billion over the next decade. The study also claimed that black children and teens in the US were now being exposed to 80 to 90 per cent more ads for sweetened drinks than for white people.

The findings follow the Let's Move! campaign to prevent childhood obesity in a generation that was initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010, which pressurised drinks companies ensure the calories in their products were more consumer-friendly and clearly labelled on the front of each bottle, can or pack they made.
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