The American Heart Association recently released dietary guidelines to reduce sugar intake that highlighted the health benefits of cutting back on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Now, in a recent report on health policy, a group of public health experts suggest placing a tax on these sugary beverages as a means of reducing public consumption. According to the report, Americans consume about 175 calories daily from sugar-sweetened beverages on average.
Past research has linked consumption of these beverages to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The report proposes that a tax of 1 cent per ounce be placed on beverages with added sweeteners. This tax would increase the cost of a 20-oz drink by 15-20%, which, the report estimates, should decrease consumption of these drinks by about 15%.
In addition to the health benefits gained by decreasing America’s consumption of sugary drinks, this tax would have the added benefit of generating revenue that could be used in health programs for treating obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.