Trusted Health Writer Jane E. Brody Supports a Tax on Sugary Beverages in "A Tax to Combat America's Sugary Diet"
ALBANY, NY (April 6, 2010) - Writing in today's New York Times, trusted and experienced health writer Jane E. Brody writes that the American Beverage Association "has seriously undermined its credibility with ads opposing the so-called soda tax."
"In association-sponsored commercials on television and radio, homemakers spout the spurious argument that such a tax would make it more difficult for them to feed their families," Brody writes in today's Science Times section. "But on no nutritionist's list are you likely to find soda listed as a desirable dietary ingredient. It is not a food, nor a basic necessity. In fact the people likely to benefit most from a soda tax that discourages consumption are those who find it hardest to make ends meet. These are the people who can least afford to waste hard-earned dollars on empty calories that undermine their health.'"
Read the entire article by Jane E. Brody at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/health/06brod.html
Brody cites studies linking the over-consumption of sugary beverages to obesity and serious health problems, including the increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. New York State spends nearly $8 billion each year on treatment for diabetes and other obesity-related conditions, with 80 percent of that cost borne by taxpayers through Medicaid and Medicare.
Brody also cites studies indicating that a penny-per-ounce tax like the one proposed for New York State would be effective in reducing consumption of soda and other sugary beverages and reducing the risk for obesity.
Brody joins an extensive list of public health experts, prominent medical associations and health care institutions in supporting a tax on sugary beverages as an effective means of attacking the obesity and diabetes problem. For a list of organizations and individuals who support New York's sugary beverage tax, go to: http://www.nyam.org/initiatives/sp-sbb-contact.shtml