Taxes don’t make people healthy. Diet and exercise do that. So, an excise tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages won’t work to solve the complex issue of obesity. And as we recently read in an article on the Vermont Public Radio website, a proposed soda tax in the state would have unintended consequences that go far beyond the beverage aisle:
“Jim Harrison is the executive director of the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association, a group that strongly opposes the sugar sweetened beverage tax. He says it's likely that some retailers will choose not to raise the price of these beverages, but instead will spread the cost of the tax to many other products in their store.”
In the story, Harrison remarks: "We do know that the tax will be hidden. It will be buried somewhere in the cost of products, and what retailers or different merchants do will really depend on what their marketing strategy is.”
We stand firmly in our position that soda taxes are nothing more than a thinly veiled money grab. If we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education – not taxes on common grocery items, like juice drinks, teas, soda and sports drinks.
Check in with Americans for Food and Beverage Choice for more information.