Turning great ideas into healthier communities


DeLauro's Soda Tax Bill A Win for Health

July 29, 2014


Statement from Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, President and CEO, Public Health Institute

“The Public Health Institute strongly supports U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro's (D-CT) federal legislation, introduced today, which would create a new incentive for manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of sweetened beverages.

"The science is clear. Sweetened beverages are associated with costly diet-related chronic diseases. DeLauro’s graduated excise tax addresses the problem and supports the solution: by holding manufacturers accountable for creating products loaded with sugar and bereft of nutritional value; and by infusing the Prevention and Public Health Fund with needed resources to prevent chronic disease and promote healthier lives for everyone. From federal policy to local legislation, it takes all of us working together, and courageous leaders like Representative DeLauro, to build a healthier future for our children.”  


Statement from Lynn Silver, MD, MPH Senior Advisor, Chronic Disease and Obesity Prevention, Public Health Institute and California Project LEAN  

"The Public Health Institute strongly supports U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro's (D-CT) groundbreaking new federal legislation introduced today that would place a graduated excise tax  on manufacturers and distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugary drinks continue to be a leading driver of the nation's obesity and diabetic epidemics. DeLauro's bill creates a win-win for the public: holding the promise to reduce sugar in sodas and to direct resources to prevent chronic diseases. We urge other legislators to join with Representative DeLauro to put health first.

"Today's sodas contain around 16 teaspoons in a 20 ounce bottle. By making the tax proportional to the amount of sugar in sodas-- resulting in about a one cent per ounce tax--DeLauro's proposal  creates a tangible incentive for manufacturers to put less sugar in soda. And, by directing the revenues to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the proposal would lend much-needed support  to the  prevention of diet-related illnesses, particularly among those at greatest risk.

"Diabetes alone costs the nation $245 billion dollars a year according to the American Diabetes Association. This measure would prevent some of the harm to families and  recoup a small part of those damages. Concerted national action and policies such as this one are urgently needed. In Mexico, the national soda tax is already resulting in a decline in sales of sugary drinks and an increase in consumption of healthier alternatives. 

"PHI also endorses regional efforts to decrease soda consumption, including the local soda taxes in play in Berkeley and San Francisco, and California Senator Bill Monning's soda warning label proposal. Everyone has a role to play in  shifting our culture toward health, and PHI  salutes the leadership of  Congresswoman DeLauro, the Berkeley City Council and the San Francisco supervisors who are championing this critical issue."