Want a sugar rush? Plan on ponying up the cash.
Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are on the rise, which could bring sugar highs to an all-time low. Nationally, Congress considered the “SWEET” Act in 2014, which could have added a 1 cent tax per every 4.2 grams of added sugar in beverages.
Although the U.S. hasn’t implemented a nationwide sugar tax yet, 6 cities and 1 county—Berkeley (CA), Philadelphia (PA), San Francisco (CA), Oakland (CA), Albany (CA), Boulder (CO), and Cook County (IL)—have put a higher price tag on the sweet stuff. Regardless of your sugar tax stance, there’s certainly one sweet advantage: less sugar could mean less pain for pearly whites.
More benefits of a sugar tariff could include:
Fewer Cavities and Fitter Families
Implementing similar taxes in Mexico lead to a 12% decrease in sweetened beverage consumption. If the U.S. follows in Mexico’s footsteps, we could lower consumption of empty calories and decrease cavities for our families.
Soda Shrinking = Water Drinking
Sugary sodas and other artificially sweet sippers offer little or no nutritional value. Water is a healthy and calorie-free alternative. When Berkeley, California passed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, consumption dropped 21% and water consumption increased by 63%. A big change that has a big impact on health! Think of preventing cavities like you reading a Nicolas Sparks novel—water works.
More Cash in Public Coffers
What would happen to the extra cash? The city of Philadelphia began collecting the tax at the beginning of 2017. The money is planned to fund city programs, education and parks. And there’s a lot to go around; an estimated $300 million per year can be gained from these taxes.
Would a tax on sugary beverages change your purchasing behavior? Let us know in the comments below.