11/18/2016  |  
Posted in Nutrition, Oral Health
Voting for Better Health

With the presidential race of 2016 grabbing all the headlines, you may have missed some heartening news: Four U.S. cities and one county voted to place new taxes on sugary beverages. It's not often that people support new taxes, but the so-called “soda taxes” are strongly advocated by the World Health Organization and other health groups as a means of reducing obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

Not surprisingly, the big soda companies tried to fight these measures — correctly believing that higher prices will cause people to buy less of their products. The American Beverage Association, a trade group representing the biggest soda brands, spent nearly $9.5 million on ads to try to persuade voters to resist the new taxes. Yet voters in San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany, California, as well as Boulder, Colorado overwhelmingly supported the measures. Legislators in Cook County, Illinois followed suit the same week.

Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association, called the ballot results a “big win” for public health.

“We applaud voters for rejecting the big spending and false arguments of outsiders and standing up for what they knew was right for their community,” she said. “Reducing consumption will improve rates of diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.”

The soda tax momentum is building, but you don't have to wait for it to come to your community; you can take a positive step toward better health by lowering your family's consumption of teeth-eroding soft drinks today!