Sugary drinks are harming Americans. From obvious culprits, such as soda, to less likely candidates, such as iced tea and flavored coffee, a single serving of a sweetened beverage can contain more than 30 grams of sugar—and an individual-size bottle can contain up to 77 grams. Just one drink can exceed the American Heart Association’s recommended daily serving of sugar, which is 36 grams for men and 26 grams for women.
When consumed in excess, sugar has been linked to major weight gain, the onset of type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. According to the Journal of American Medicine, more than one-third of American adults are considered obese. The number of overweight American children has tripled since the 1970s, and doctors have seen a related 33 percent increase in childhood type-2 diabetes over the past decade. National health care costs linked to overweight and obese patients are estimated at US$190 billion.
While we know that doughnuts and cake are bad for one’s health; it can be more difficult to realize the consequences of a few sweet sips. Americans consume 44 gallons of soda each year, and as soft drink companies pour their profits into advertising, the rate of soda consumption continue to soar.
But as eaters—and voters—we can take action to curb sugary drink consumption.
In July 2014 Rep. Rosa DeLauro proposed to Congress the SWEET Act, a bill aimed at curbing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by taxing each gram of added sweetener. On Nov. 4, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city to successfully pass a ballot initiative based on this act, placing a tax of one cent on each ounce of sugary beverage sold in the city.
Sign the petition HERE urging your congressperson to support the SWEET Act. Taxing sugary drinks will spur Americans to rethink what they drink.