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Soda tax linked to reduced consumption, calories

Economics, Finance, Health, calories, consumer, food, obesity

More than any other sugary food or beverage, experts are most worried about the health ramifications of soda. It’s the devil, they say.

Doctors and scientists say they have reason to be concerned about soda consumption in the United States, and figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back them up: More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and more than 36 percent of Americans are obese. In addition, doctors and scientists say, 35 to 45 percent of the average person’s intake of added sugar in the U.S. comes from soda.

Obesity has been linked to a higher prevalence of chronic diseases, such as arthritis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In 2006 – the most up-to-date information – the estimated associated cost to the U.S. medical system was about $147 billion.

California voters appear to be just as worried about soda’s consequences. Two-thirds of the state’s voters think soda should be taxed, and 74 percent said they would support a proposal to put health warnings on cans and bottles, according to a recent Field Poll commissioned by the California Endowment. The private health foundation supports special labeling of sugary drinks.

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