Could a tax on sugary drinks help curb the obesity epidemic? Fit For Life, a grass roots organization started by Richmond, California City Councilman Jeff Ritterman thinks so. In November, Richmond’s residents will vote on a measure that calls for a one-cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks. Tax proceeds will go towards projects designed to prevent and treat childhood obesity.
Health advocates have been talking about the negative impact of junk foods on the health of Americans for a long time. The Centers for Disease Control predicts that the next generation will have a shorter lifespan than their parents based on their predisposition to diabetes, heart disease and obesity. How can we encourage a healthier lifestyle and discourage a processed food diet that will reverse this trend?
Integrative Nutrition has joined forces with the American Heart Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the UN who all agree that this tax is a great start. Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC, even says that this soda tax could be “the single most effective measure to reverse the obesity epidemic.”
How can you get IINvolved?
A success in Richmond could set an important precedent for similar initiatives in the rest of the country. You can help!
Volunteer: If you live in the California Bay Area, show your support by distributing campaign cards, wearing a button, or writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper.
Donate: The beverage industry is powerful and has made its opposition to this initiative well known. Fit for Life can win but it needs funds to continue a successful campaign. For every dollar YOU donate, Integrative Nutrition will match it – up to $10,000!
Though the obesity epidemic may have many complicated contributing factors, the soda issue is straightforward: sugary drinks have no nutritional benefit and are killing us. A soda tax would simultaneously discourage consumption as well as raise money to fight childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. Together we can make a difference!