An ounce of prevention
This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
Sales of energy drinks and some other beverages could slow if states raise taxes on sugared beverages to reduce consumption and improve the public's health. States including Maine and New York are considering heavily taxing sugared beverages. New York proposed taxing the drinks a penny per ounce of sugar, which would reduce consumption by 13 percent, according to a New England Journal of Medicine aritcle. The authors, led by Yale University psychologist Kelly Brownell, say sugar-sweetened beverages may be the single largest driver of the obesity epidemic, and advocate a tax similar to the tobacco excise tax to reduce consumption (1"The Tan Sheet" April 6, 2009, p. 6)
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New York Gov. David Paterson proposes a state excise tax of about one cent per ounce on sugary beverages including sodas, energy drinks and sports beverages. The measure in the 2010-2011 executive budget 1proposal, released Jan. 19, drew ire from the American Beverage Association and New Yorkers Against Unfair Taxes, a coalition of retailers and food distributors. Public health advocates and researchers support such a tax to combat obesity (2"The Tan Sheet" April 13, 2009, In Brief). The proposed tax excludes infant formula and "dietary aids," though it does not specify where liquid dietary supplements fall. Many energy drinks are labeled as supplements, which likely led to a recent FDA draft guidance delineating conventional beverages from legitimate supplement products (3"The Tan Sheet" Dec. 14, 2009)
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