It is no secret that obesity is a serious and complex challenge that our country is facing. The beverage industry is doing its part, providing consumers with more beverage options with fewer calories and in smaller portion sizes. We are also making sure people have the information they need to make the choice that is right for them. It is through efforts like these that we can have an impact on obesity, not through discriminatory taxes that target one ingredient or product out of the entire diet.
When the government and public health officials rely on a tax as a solution to addressing obesity they are sending the message to consumers that elimination of one ingredient or one product will solve their health issues. But many in the public health community know this to be false.
Obesity, which is caused by a variety of factors, is not that simple. And in the case of sugar-sweetened beverages, consumption of these products has been declining as obesity rates in the United States continue to rise. Clearly the rest of the diet needs to be considered when addressing obesity.
We have all heard the phrase “everything in moderation” and it holds true when it comes to making choices about the foods and beverages we consume. Our companies are committed to ensuring that there are plenty of options, including low- and no-calorie products and waters, that can help people balance out their calories.
The government shouldn’t be focused on demonizing certain products. We should be working together to ensure we are providing consumers the information and choices they need to make the decisions that best fit their diet.