The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has released a new report, “The Case Against Regulating or Taxing Soda,” that outlines how these polices unfairly target those least able to afford price increases, are based on shaky medical evidence, and will not keep the promises their advocates make.
State lawmakers across the country are currently considering tax hikes on sugar-sweetened beverages, while a plan to ban soda over 16 ounces in New York City was struck down Monday by a New York state judge.
Politicians and public health advocates have long argued taxing sugar-sweetened beverages will reduce healthcare costs while slimming down Americans. However, as CCF’s report highlights, the evidence tying soda to obesity is methodologically weak. Study after study shows soda is not a unique contributor to obesity. Furthermore, studies show that the proposals popular among lawmakers to place a small levy on soda like a penny-per-ounce tax neither raise intended revenue nor curb obesity.
“Soda has become an easy target for those in the public health community, but its bad rap is hardly warranted given the scientific evidence,” said J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom. “Sugar-sweetened beverages are no more fattening than any other food or drink with calories. It’s only the overconsumption of calories that leads people to put on extra pounds.”
When given the chance to approve or reject soda taxes at the ballot box, Americans overwhelmingly reject them by wide margins.
“Americans don’t need a government takeover of their diets to shed weight,” continued Wilson. “City and state legislators around the country should think twice before considering these tax or ban strategies, as attacking sugar-sweetened beverages does little to slim down residents or improve a politician’s popularity.”
View the new report here: http://www.consumerfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2013_SodaTaxReportFINAL.pdf