Since the issue of sugar sweetened beverage taxes has recently garnered a lot of media attention in Illinois and throughout the country, we wanted to make sure you saw this op-ed by AHA volunteer, Dr. Goutham Rao, in the Chicago Sun-Times over the weekend.
Kudos, Goutham, on the nice piece! Thank you for leadership on this important issue!!!
Tax Sugary Drinks
We need a tax in Illinois on sugary drinks.
Obesity is a vicious epidemic making too many of our children, families and communities sick. The chronic diseases brought on and exacerbated by obesity — including diabetes, some cancers and heart disease — take a massive toll in premature deaths and mounting public health costs.
Our state requires a comprehensive set of proactive solutions to this public health crisis, starting with the passage of the HEAL Act, which was voted down in the House Revenue and Finance Committee during the spring legislative session. The HEAL Act would place a modest, penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, which are the single biggest source of added sugar in the American diet. Though modest, a penny-per-ounce tax could have a significant impact upon consumption of sugary drinks and help steer Illinois families toward more healthful beverage alternatives. This simple action would also fund efforts to combat obesity. This is why a growing chorus of voices, collaborating through the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, is calling for our Legislature to reintroduce and pass the HEAL Act in the 2015 session. Continue reading here