A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages keeps the doctor away and saves money

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Posted by Jack Powers

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Jack Powers
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by Jack Powers - Jan. 9, 2012

Sugar-sweetened beverages are cheap to buy, but they cost the U.S. plenty: about $174 billion per year on diabetes treatment costs and $147 billion on other obesity-related health problems. Because weight gain is just one factor in how sugary beverages contribute to diabetes and heart disease, the researchers point out, even if all the calories saved by cutting soda consumption were replaced and body weight remained the same, cutting consumption would still reduce diabetes and heart disease.

Proceeds from such a “sin tax” should go to public health projects.

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