Friday, July 28, 2017

American Heart Association statement on Cook County's sweetened drink tax

“The American Heart Association applauds today’s ruling that will allow Cook County’s sweetened drink tax to finally take effect. The beverage industry’s support of a last-minute implementation delay led to layoffs of hundreds of critical public servants and significant budget uncertainty for Cook County’s leaders. We are pleased that Cook County’s more than five million residents are poised to now reap the tax’s many positive health and economic benefits. The evidence could not be clearer: sugary drink taxes work. From Philadelphia to Berkeley to Mexico, these taxes have produced a litany of positive outcomes—lower consumption of sugary drinks, higher consumption of water, additional revenue for a wide variety of health and education initiatives—without hurting local businesses or customer sales. The revenue generated by Cook County’s tax will fund critical public health and safety priorities, and the health impact will be substantial. Harvard University researchers project that Cook County’s tax will reduce diabetes rates by seven percent, result in $25.80 in health care cost savings for every $1 invested, and prevent 37,000 cases of obesity over a ten-year period. Sugary drinks are the top source of added sugars for millions of people, increasing the risk for serious chronic diseases and higher health care costs. With each sugary drink tax that takes effect, communities across America are helping their residents lead healthy lives and reach their full potential. We urge more communities to follow Cook County’s example.”

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