Listen: Tax sugary drinks, pediatrician and heart groups urge
"American Academy of pediatrics and the American Heart Association released policy recommendations, encouraging local and state lawmakers to implement taxes on sugary drinks. The hope is that children would consume fewer sugary drinks and subsequently obesity in children would decrease as well, Dr Bill a pediatrician and member of the American Academy of pediatrics who helped create this policy joins us now on the Carol de Newsline. Doctor tell us about this policy recommendation policy statement is directed at the consumption of sugary drinks, which are major source of calories for children and teenagers. For example, the upper twenty five percent of children and teenagers consume about five hundred calories a day from sugary drinks. And we think that's a significant contributor to obesity. What caused you guys to create this new policy? Well, several things that I was the excessive consumption of sugary drinks. And Secondly was the rising prevalence of obesity across the country obesity now affects eighteen percent of two to nineteen year olds in the United States. And then obviously affects people later in life as well. Yes. So obesity that starts in childhood often persist until adulthood, although that's not to dismiss the importance of obesity in adulthood, about fifty percent of obesity begins in the twenty to thirty nine year old age group. We have fewer data on the consumption of sugary drinks in that age group. And so this would call for an excise tax on these kinds of beverages. Correct. We think taxation is an effective way to reduce consumption and the experience in the US cities and towns that have done that is it makes clear that if you tax sugary drinks make them more expensive. They're less likely to be consumed. The problem with with sugary drinks is that they contain sugar and almost nothing else. The other important ingredient in sugary drinks this caffeine, which may addict children too, sugary drinks. The consumption of sugary drinks is viewed as harmless, whereas, you know, twenty or thirty years ago the consumption of a sugary drink like a coke or. Pepsi was a real treat. It wasn't an everyday occurrence. And we think that the sugary drinks are one of the important contributors to the development of obesity in children and teenagers. What's the likelihood of this to actually take place for these for for an attacks to actually be put in place? It is unlikely that attacks will occur at the federal level. But there's already evidence that this is happening at the local level and number of communities seven or eight communities now in the United States have passed a tax on sugary drinks. And we think as the awareness of the contribution of sugary drinks to obesity increases and the addictive properties of the sugary drinks increases that increase taxes are going to be more likely certainly beginning at the community level, and ultimately at the state level. This is like tobacco tobacco didn't start with a federal tax. It started at the local level, and then grew and we think that the same thing can happen to sugary drink"