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Taxes & Cautionary Notes Can Act As Effective Tools To Curb Sugary Soda Intake

8 of 10 households in USA buy sugary drinks and sodas every week, causing excess consumption of up to 2000 calories in a household a weak, as per new research. Sharon Zarabi of Lenox Hospital in NYC, who is the director of a bariatric program, stated that her patients knew that soda was harmful, yet they don’t stop consuming. With Stephen Onufrak from US CDC leading the study, the report was presented at ASN’s annual meet on Sunday.

Data from government surveys done in 2012 were used for the study to discover weekly grocery purchase habits of about 5000 households.77% of them bought sugary drinks in a week. Over 47% bought them for use at home. Households consumed over sugary drinks with over 2000 calories a week. Sodas were the most widely consumed sugary drink.

Anna Grummon from UNC led a study that gave 400 adults $10, to spend in a convenience store.1 team went to stores with sodas displaying health warnings on labels while another team was sent to a store with no such labels. The group that went to the former store bought around sugary drinks with 33 calories less than the latter store shoppers.

Grummon’s group also conducted computer simulation about the effects of these measures on the current obesity epidemic. The results showed that doing so would decrease average intake by 25 calories a day & total intake by 30 calories a day. Another computer simulation run by Christina Griecci’s team from Tufts University showed levying a $0.01 tax on every ounce of sugary beverages could decrease obesity-related cancer cases by 17,000 and reduce cancer deaths by 10,000.

Over $2.4 billion could be saved by the nation in cancer treatment costs.

Another study by Yujin Lee and his team found that raising taxes in proportion with sugar content worked the best. Over 460,000 cardiovascular medical events and 60000 diabetes-related cases could be avoided, with savings of $28B in healthcare in total during a decade. However, Michelle Milgrim, a diet expert stated that taxes on sugary drinks would increase financial costs to lower income class people and completely ignore the reasons behind such behavior.

Better food labels and nutrition education were the solutions to the current obesity crisis.

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