Time for a Federal Tax on Soda

Mark Bittman salutes bill being introduced today
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2014 11:33 AM CDT
Time for a Federal Tax on Soda
In this June 30, 2014 photo cans of Coca-Cola soda pop are shown in the refrigerator inside of Chile Lindo in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A Connecticut congresswoman is proposing a federal tax on soda, and chef and columnist Mark Bittman is throwing his weight behind it. "A well-crafted soda tax is likely to work to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and therefore obesity, and therefore diabetes, and therefore health care costs, and to raise money for health education about the dangers of overconsumption of sugar," Bittman writes in the New York Times. Berkeley, San Francisco, and Illinois are already considering similar measures, "but a national tax would be much tidier."

Rep. Rosa DeLauro's SWEET Act would raise the cost of a teaspoon of sugar or corn syrup by a penny for manufacturers and importers, and the result would be an extra 10 cents or so for a can of soda. The money would be funneled into ObamaCare's Prevention and Public Health Fund, where it could, for instance, help improve the healthiness of school lunches. If there's one big thing we have a fighting chance of fixing, it's our diets, Bittman writes: It should be,"no pun intended, a piece of cake." Click for his full piece. (More taxes stories.)

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