Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are drinks sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other caloric sweeteners. They are a significant source of nutrition-less or "empty" calories in the American diet and a significant contributor to the current obesity epidemic. Concerned policy makers and public health professionals across the country are considering a variety of policies to reduce consumption, including legislation to levy excise taxes on SSBs. Research indicates that if the taxes are large enough they could reduce consumption, and therefore affect obesity rates. In addition, the public health community is calling for the revenue from these taxes to be used on obesity prevention, anti-hunger, and other health initiatives.
The Alliance for a Healthier Rhode Island urges school districts to adopt a district-wide policy prohibiting the acceptance of money from any SSB company. The letter provides an example of a strategy to reduce the consumption of SSBs in schools.
The links below provide a wide range of information on the public health benefits of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as other policy efforts to reduce SSB consumption.
- Issue Overview and Fact Sheets
- Tax Information
- Revenue Calculator
- Legislation, Policies, and Initiatives
- Public Opinion Data
- Supporting Statements of National Organizations
- Media Coverage
- Additional Resources
- Information on the Beverage Industry