We want to congratulate lawmakers in California for once again rejecting a proposed 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
We were especially happy to hear why lawmakers rejected the idea. It’s what we have been saying all along about raising taxes to fight obesity: it does not work.
"I would be more comfortable if I felt like this would change behavior," Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, told the Los Angeles Times.
Gonzalez said she believed a tax would "just cost poor people more money."
Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, took a stronger stance against the idea of attacking the beverage industry alone to address the challenge of obesity.
"Taxing this industry on this just makes you feel good, you go back and tell the people 'I did something.' You didn't do a damn thing,” he said. “The reality is, you didn't change a behavior."
We at Sip & Savor agree with Chavez, Gonzalez and the other lawmakers that voted to reject the proposed tax. Placing a tax not only unfairly targets lower income populations and small businesses but doesn’t teach people the importance of balance in their diets that dietitians say is the key to solving the complex public health issue of obesity.
Bob Achermann, executive director of CalBev, the state beverage industry’s trade association, said it best: “Getting serious about complex health issues like obesity and diabetes requires more than a regressive tax … Our state deserves a holistic solution befitting of the challenge, like nutrition education in schools, homes, work places and communities.”
To learn more about why taxing beverages is not a solution visit YourCartYourChoice.com.