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Doctor Jamie Jeffrey now stands for a sugary beverage tax within her patient’s diets, stating that after her extensive research and scientific findings, she encourages West Virginia to take a “bold action” for kids by implementing a sugary drink tax.
“Over the past 5 years, my patients have suffered more from the insulin resistance disease spectrum presenting as rapid weight gain, high triglycerides and a dark rash around their neck and on their knuckles known as acanthosis nigrican,” Jeffrey told Charleston Gazette-Mail.
West Virginia has had an increase in obesity rates from 14.4 percent to 16.4 percent in their younger population, where nearly 40% of West Virginians consume sugary sweetened beverages daily and 60% of 18-24-year-olds consume sweet drinks daily.
Now West Virginia health groups are arousing conversations about obesity, diabetes, and sugary drink consumption, even starting a campaign, “A Few Cents Makes Sense” to encourage West Virginia parents to stand for the health of their kids.
Dr. Jeffery also told local new that sugary drinks or “liquid sugars” comprise over 46 percent of total calories in the diets of West Virginian’s and this sugar spike, leads to an exaggerated insulin response.
Unfortunately for the soda business, the facts are clear about how diabetes and other chronic diseases are being linked to consumption of sugary drinks. In fact, one study revealed that the odds of children becoming obese increase by 60% for each 12-ounce soda consumed.
According to The Statewide Journal, the tax on soda could also help boost local workforce and help raise nearly $90 million a year to deal with the state’s financial problems.
The groups working towards the tax increase of at 1 cent per ounce on all sugary sweetened beverages include local chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the west Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, and the American Heart Association.
Currently a one penny per 16.9 ounces tax is applied in the state that helps benefit the West Virginia University School of Medicine, but the health groups hope their efforts will increase the tax to one or two cents per ounce and decrease soda and sugary beverage consumption for the health of the community, where more than 35% of the residents were obese in 2016 according to The State of Obesity reports.
To learn more about the campaign, check out the facebook page, A Few Cents Makes Sense.