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Although the topic of taxing sugary drinks in Illinois to help balance the state budget is not off the table since January. A recent poll taken by the American Heart Association shows that over 50% of respondents showed support for a tax on sugary drinks.
In fact, according to the AHA poll, over 70% of the 800 poll respondents would rather tax sugary drinks than hike income taxes or expanded sales tax on services.
One in three children in the state are considered obese or overweight, and sugary drinks are still a large part of the average American child’s diet, leading to higher risks of unhealthy weights, heart disease, and liver disease.
Many in Illinois support the tax, including 65% Latino Illinoisans, lawmakers, business owners, and health advocates.
Having support for the tax from Latino voters is important, considering the research that shows Latino kids often consume more sugary drinks than their peers.
The tax would not only help balance the state’s budget but also would play a role in reducing spending to Illinois’s health care system that spends $6.3 billion per year to treat obesity-related health issues, according to Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity.