Grocery-tax referendum in Washington state would block soda taxes
The three largest soft drink companies in America have donated more than 98 cents of every $1 given to a campaign in Washington state to ban local governments from imposing new taxes on groceries, including soda and other sugary beverages. Voters will decide whether to enact Initiative 1634 in a statewide vote as part of the Nov. 6 election, 10 months after a soda tax took effect in Seattle, the largest city in the state.
U.S. obesity rate rises: 40 percent of adults
For Americans, gaining weight seems to go hand in hand with getting older; the obesity rate for adults is twice as high as the youth rate. And now, the CDC pegs the adult rate at nearly 40 percent, up 2 percentage points in two years and the highest rate ever, while the youth obesity rate rose to 18.5 percent, up by more than a point and also a record.
Child obesity soared worldwide in two generations
Some 124 million boys and girls around the world are obese, putting the children at risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, said a team of researchers in the journal The Lancet. Obesity rates among youths ages 5-19 years are eight times higher today than they were in 1975 and exceed 20 percent in nations including the United States.
On today’s agenda in Chicago: Repeal the soda tax
The Cook County Board, overseeing the 41 percent of Illinoisans who live in Chicago and nearby suburbs, is expected to repeal its 1-cent-per-ounce soda tax during a meeting today, only weeks after it took effect. The change of mind in Cook County, the largest jurisdiction in the nation to tax sugary beverages, is a dramatic defeat for public-health advocates.
Food industry tries to shape food policy, says nonprofit group
A series of emails obtained under a state freedom of information law suggest major food companies have a "roadmap for dealing with scientific challenges," says the leader of the nonprofit group U.S. Right to Know in a Bloomberg story. The emails by current and former Coca-Cola executives suggest actions such as enlisting outside organizations to question dietary advice that was contrary to their business interests.
Soda tax will apply to 41 percent of Illinoisans on Wednesday
Cook County, the most populous county in Illinois, will begin collecting a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages beginning on Wednesday, making it the largest jurisdiction with a soda tax, following a state court decision that the tax is constitutional, said the Chicago Tribune. Som
Once again, judges say Philadelphia’s soda tax is legal
With judges split 5-2, the Pennsylvania Comonwealth Court upheld Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, the second win in court by the city, said Philadelphia Magazine. "Still, the ruling doesn’t conclude the soda tax war," said the magazine, because the American Beverage Association and local businesses could appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Soda taxes could cover 40 percent of Americans
Seven U.S. cities, from Philadelphia to San Francisco, have adopted so-called soda taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages since November 2014. Now researchers say they’ve identified three factors for success in such efforts.
Seattle approves 1.75-cent-an-ounce soda tax
On a 7-1 vote, the Seattle City Council approved a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce on sugary beverages, such as soda, sports drinks and energy drinks, said the Post Intelligencer. "Supporters hope the tax will help fund educational programs and close the learning gap between white students and students of color, while also curbing consumption of unhealthy sugary beverages."
Lopsided defeat in Santa Fe for 2-cent soda tax; on to Seattle
By nearly a 3-to-2 margin, voters in Santa Fe rejected a tax on sugary beverages in a referendum that attracted millions of dollars in outside spending. The results were a boost for the soft drink industry and may turn attention to Seattle, where Mayor Ed Murray has proposed a 1.75-cent an …
Santa Fe votes today on soda tax
Voters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, decide today whether to adopt a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages — not just on sodas, but on sweetened sports drinks like Gatorade, lemonades and caffeinated energy drinks, among others, says U.S. News & World Report. Artificially sweetened drinks, infant formula, chocolate milk, pure fruit juices, and weight-loss drinks like Ensure would be exempted.
Diet sodas linked to stroke and dementia
Drinking one to six diet sodas a week doubles the risk for stroke and may also increase the risk for dementia, according to a study of 4,000 people over age 45 in the journal Stroke. The reasons for the link are unknown, says The New York Times.
Foes tell judges that Philadelphia soda tax is illegal
Opponents of Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax on sugary beverages, who lost last year in Common Pleas court, asked the Commonwealth Court to overturn the levy as a form of double taxation, said the Associated Press. In arguments before a seven-judge panel, attorney Chip Becker said the state already imposes a sales tax on soda so the city is barred by law from taxing it too.
Britain affirms soda tax with receipts to go to school sports
Schools across Britain will see an additional 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) for sports from a tax on sugary beverages that will be imposed beginning in April 2018, said Phillip Hammond, chancellor of exchequer, in laying out the proposed government budget. The tax was announced last March as step toward better public health through lower rates of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, said the Independent.
Meta-analysis says food incentives do their job
People will eat more healthy food if prices are lowered and consume less unhealthy food and fewer sugary beverages if they cost more, say researchers who performed a meta-analysis of 30 studies on the issue. Co-author Ashkan Afshin said the meta-analysis demonstrated causality: "Our results show how 10 to 50 percent changes in price of foods and beverages at checkout could influence consumers’ purchasing behaviors over a relatively short period of time.”
In second year of tax, soda sales continue to fall in Mexico
Consumption of sugary beverages is down for the second year in a row in Mexico, suggesting "that the results of such a tax may be far more long-lasting," says the New York Times. It says a study published on the Internet by Health Affairs found a 5.5 percent decline in sales of sugary drinks in 2014, the first year of the tax, and sales in 2015 were 9.7 percent lower than in 2013, the year before the tax took effect.
Early data show Philadelphia soda tax is cutting consumption
Sales tax data indicate that soda consumption in Philadelphia was down by about 40 percent in January, the first month that the 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax was in effect, says news site Billy Penn. The actual figure may be different, it says, because the tax is levied on sales by distributors, who …
AEI fellow proposes multi-state test of ban on buying soda with food stamps
In the name of improving public health, the government should set up a multi-state demonstration project that bans poor people from using food stamps to buy soda and other sweetened beverages that are blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic, said an American Enterprise Institute official.