To the Editor:
If there were a substance being consumed in huge quantities in your community that was heavily linked to an epidemic of disease, you would want the government to do something about it, right?
That is the simple premise behind the soda tax. Americans consume, on average, 40 gallons of sugary beverages each year, per person and these drinks are driving the obesity and diabetes epidemics in the Bronx and across our state.
Big beverage companies spend billions each year to market these sugary, empty calorie drinks, often targeting kids and other vulnerable populations. With low-priced sodas and other sugary beverages now taking the place of healthy, nutritious drinks in many people’s diets, it is no wonder our kids are predicted to have a lower life expectancy than their parents!
Do not let the industry’s “personal responsibility” argument fool you. Relentless marketing of sugary beverages infringes on the health and well-being of every New Yorker and has changed the way people eat. Bronx residents should stand up and shout “Enough, we need to protect our children and community.”
The soda tax is a smart idea on many levels and all Bronx residents should support this important health intervention.
New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance