Over the past 10 years, Americans drank more sugar-sweetened beverages than ever - as much as 13 billion gallons a year - making these drinks the largest source of added sugar and excess calories in the American diet and, arguably, the single largest dietary factor in the current obesity epidemic. While many states have a sales tax on soda, experts believe they are too low to impact consumption. In a study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, researchers estimated that if a higher, penny-per-ounce tax were imposed on sugar-sweetened beverages, it would result in an approximately 15% reduction in consumption and reduce the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

 

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