As a parent, I know how hard it is to constantly be telling my 3 year old no, but as adults, we are responsible for making sure our children have the opportunity to live long, healthy lives.
Sugary drinks are a major source of sugar in the American diet and the overconsumption of sugar contributes to the rise in chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease. That is why it is so alarming to me that soft drinks now account for 13 percent of calories in a teenager’s diet, more than any other individual source!
Both modeling and now real-world examples have shown that by taxing sugary drinks, consumption of these beverages declines. Recently, a study was released showing that the sugary drink tax in Berkeley led to a decline in consumption, an increase in water consumption, and no economic harm to businesses. Showing us that when we make the healthy choice, the easy choice, people choose the healthy one!
AHA has joined with like-minded organizations to combat the epidemic of nutrition-related diseases and improve children’s lives. A proposed tax on soda and other sugary drinks will not only decrease consumption of unhealthy beverages, but provide much-needed revenue to support preschool, literacy programs, school gardens and more. Shouldn’t Multnomah County be the next place to see these kinds of beneficial outcomes in our community?