Last week, a proposal in Vermont to slap an excise tax on soda failed to advance out of the Senate Finance Committee.  This is not the first time a soda tax proposal has failed in Vermont – a soda tax was also introduced in the Green Mountain state in 2011, 2013 and 2014.  The tax failed all three times.

When will politicians and the public health community learn that proposals to tax common grocery items like soft drinks are not the solution to the obesity issue?  People know that if we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education – not soda taxes.  In fact, over the past decade soda taxes have failed in more than 30 states and cities across the country.

We’ve said it before: we cannot tax our way to better health.  No matter how the public health community spins it – there is no quick fix for the complex issue of obesity.  That’s why the public policy debate has moved on from taxes and bans and to real solutions.  And that is why our member companies are doing their part to provide choice, information, support and motivation to help consumers select the beverage that’s right for them.

Through our Balanced Calories Initiative, the American Beverage Association and its member companies have partnered with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025. This is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity and it will transform the beverage landscape in America.  This initiative is about providing consumers a range of beverage options, calorie information to help them make the choices that are right for them, and encouragement to help them balance all of their calories – including those from beverages – with daily physical activity.

To learn more about why taxing soda is not the answer to complex issues like obesity visit