Sugary Drinks a Long Time Coming ... and A Long Way to Go


November’s hopeful news of the nation’s first soda tax in Berkeley, California, has us celebrating and hoping to see more of the same. In a recent Huffington Post article Larry Cohen, Executive Director of the Prevention Institute eggs us on:

I know that what happened in Berkeley and San Francisco won't stay in Berkeley and San Francisco. It's clear that the Berkeley victory and the strong showing in San Francisco are inspiring advocates across the country and building the national momentum — it's something we've seen with many movements to create policy change, whether it's tobacco, seatbelt laws or making infrastructure changes that enable people in wheelchairs to cross city streets."

Yet, the Rudd Center for Public Policy’s Sugary Drink F.A.C.T.S (Food Advertising to Children and Teens Scores) report for 2014 helps us envision the mammoth next steps the fight against sugary drinks (and the industry that rules them) will take. The report and its executive summary uncover important facts, such as the overall spending in the U.S. on sugary drinks in 2013 was $14.3 billion! The impact of that number is sistered with the fact that the beverage industry spent over $1.3 billion on advertising those drinks! From the report:

Beverage companies spent $866 million to advertise sugary drinks and energy drinks in all measured media in 2013. Companies also spent $465 million to advertise other beverages, including diet drinks, 100% juice, and plain water."

Check out the executive summary for a light read or the whole report for an in depth look. We’re thrilled about Berkeley, but there is plenty more work to be done!


Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson


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