AHA supports sugar-sweetened beverage tax

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The American Heart Association has voiced their opinion regarding taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages in reaction to an article published in the British Medical Journal: The American Heart Association supports a multi-pronged approach to address obesity across our nation. We must make it easier for Americans to choose affordable nutritious foods and beverages by making them more accessible ¦The economic model used for this study from the British Medical Journal, and the existing evidence, provides policymakers a compelling case to enact targeted sugar-sweetened beverage taxes of at least one penny per ounce.

ACSH s Ariel Savransky responds to this view. The sugar-sweetened beverage tax in general is not the answer to reducing obesity rates. It s a simple solution to a complex problem. There is no solid scientific evidence that is, evidence that is not based on computer-generated models based on self-serving assumptions supporting this link. At least the AHA does address this concern briefly when they say that cities and states must enact taxes on these beverages so the real world impacts can be assessed ie: We have no idea if this will actually work until we can see a real world example.

However, AHA does acknowledge that should these taxes be implemented, revenue should go towards supporting public health and obesity prevention efforts, a statement that we at ACSH do agree with. We question the plausibility of the money really being used for this purpose.