US physicians clash with beverages industry over soft drinks tax plans21 June 2012
A row is brewing in the US after the American Beverage Association (ABA) hit back against a recommendation from the country’s largest physician to raise taxes on sugar-sweetened soft drinks in an attempt to reverse rising levels of obesity.
The American Medical Association (AMA) yesterday called for a combination of tax increases and public education in light of the stack of evidence linking consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to weight gain and health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. The AMA said that sugar-sweetened drinks account for nearly half of Americans’ added sugar intake and that reducing consumption would reduce intake and the health implications associated with over-consumption.
The AMA added that revenue generated from higher taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages should pay for obesity and diabetes education programmes. A report by the AMA Council on Science and Public Health concluded that increasing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to a penny per ounce would reduce obesity rates by 5% and cut medical costs by $17 billion within a decade.
"While there is no silver bullet that will alone reverse the meteoric rise of obesity, there are many things we can do to fight this epidemic and improve the health of our nation," said AMA board member Dr Alexander Ding.
However, the ABA slammed the recommendations in a statement,arguing that “funding anti-obesity programs through discriminatory taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages is misguided."
Last month, New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans to ban the sale of supersize servings of sugar-sweetened soft drinks in restaurants and public venues. McDonald’s and Coca-Cola hit back against the proposals, arguing that consumers should be able to make their own choices and that soft drinks are not responsible for America’s rising obesity rates.
Voters in Richmond, California will choose whether or not to add a penny levy per ounce on sugar-sweetened drinks in ballot this November. The cash generated would be used to provide more bike lanes, after-school sports programmes and nutritional education campaigns.
Food ingredients Istanbul
Fi Asia China
Fi South America