Connecticut State Looks Into Soda Tax

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Connecticut would be the first State to consider a statewide soda tax if conversations continue.

Cities like Berkely and Philadelphia have passed a tax and have already seen progress in terms of reducing soda consumption and improving funding for education and public health initiatives.

For Connecticut, the conversation around soda taxes began back in 2014 when a Congressional representative from Connecticut proposed a national soda tax bill in the house of representatives, but the idea has come back up now as the bill was introduced by the state Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and Lawmakers on Tuesday, April 11th at a public hearing.

According to local new source Fox 61 the tax would charge consumers of sugary drinks a penny -per ounce and exempt drinks that are considered diet or zero calorie sweeteners.

The funding from the tax estimated to generate between $85 and $141 million annually,  is being proposed to help raise awareness about the importance of having a balanced diet and aimed towards fighting childhood health problems like reducing obesity and diabetes.

Other cities like Seattle and Santa Fe are also considering following Berkely, Philly, and Boulder with a sugary beverage tax.

As argued by the American Beverage Association (ABA) in other cities and states, the ABA is arguing that the tax would hurt businesses and those who buy sugary beverage products.

“However, the negative outcomes from sugary drinks are also regressive and disproportionately impact low-income families,” Gwen Pastor, policy analyst for the Connecticut Association for Human Services told the Hartford Courant.

Sugary beverages have been linked to higher risks of cavities, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and more dangerous health risks in adults and kids.

In fact, about 22% of Latino high-school students have 3 or more sugary drinks a day, and with each extra sugary drink, the risk of becoming an obese adult jumps to 60%.

The vote may be decided on in two weeks, and if passed, it may be a ticket to a healthier Connecticut with reduced sales of soda, argue healthcare advocates of the bill.

To learn more about the importance of reducing sugary drink consumption for the health and wellness of all families, especially Latino families, click here.

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