There is no concrete evidence that the soda tax implemented last year in Berkeley, Calif. has reduced soda consumption, yet activists are disingenuously making this claim. Whether or not the tax on soda will have any impact on consumption remains to be seen. But what we do know is that taxing common grocery items fattens the government piggy bank without doing anything to improve public health.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that, “Despite the lack of hard data so far, researchers are drawing a connection between higher soda prices and reduced consumption…” It is quite a leap to take such a position without the stats to back it up.
This tactic of jumping to conclusions to fit an agenda is right out of a playbook that public health activists have been using for years. We see this time and again. Activists take studies that do not prove a claim and say that it does. In this case they claim soda taxes will cure obesity, despite there being zero proof of this and in the face of research showing just the opposite.
Taxes on common grocery items do not make people healthier. One need look no further than Arkansas and West Virginia to see this. These states that have longstanding taxes on beverages but are among the most obese. On the other hand, states like Colorado and Vermont that don’t have a beverage tax are among the least obese.
Instead of telling people what they can and can’t eat and drink, we should help Americans achieve balance and provide people with the options and information they need to make the choice that is best for them. The beverage is industry is playing a leading role in helping people find balance by offering a range of portions sizes and clearly displaying calorie information on the front of our packages and on vending machines. To learn more about how the beverage industry is making it easier for people to find the right fit for them and their families visit deliveringchoices.org.