Statement from Nancy Brown, CEO of American Heart Association, on Philadelphia Sugary Drink Tax

Philly delivers a big win for not only the health of their citizens, but communities across the country

June 16, 2016 Categories: Program News

DALLAS, TX (June 16, 2016) —“The American Heart Association is dedicated to ensuring all Americans have access to health in every part of their daily lives. We fight for clean air. We fight for better health care. And we fight to see the diabetes and obesity epidemics reversed in our nation.

Today, Philadelphia is blazing a trail for other cities and states to follow to prioritize heart-healthy habits over beverage industry profits. With this historic move, all Philadelphians will benefit from expanded pre-K and improved parks and recreation centers.

The American Heart Association is firmly committed to support elected officials across the country when they stand up to beverage industry tactics to market sugar-loaded drinks to children and minority communities.

As governors and mayors struggle with budgets and the high costs of chronic diseases, we urge them to consider taxes on sugary drinks as an effective strategy to fund much-needed health programs throughout their communities. Sugary drinks are an unnecessary part of the American diet. Decades ago, these beverages were considered a treat and are now guzzled at alarming rates. From sports drinks to sodas to many fruit-flavored drinks, children are drinking their age in servings of these sugary drinks each week. Evidence shows adults should not consume more than about 36 ounces, or 450 calories of sugary drinks each week. Yet, the average 8-year-old boy consumes 8 servings, or 64 ounces of sugary drinks each week. Reducing consumption will improve rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

The American Heart Association is proud to stand side-by-side with the people of Philadelphia as they become the first city in our nation to pass a tax on sugary drinks by vote of a city council. As the fifth largest city in the nation, Philadelphia’s exemplary public health leadership provides an inspiring example for other cities from coast to coast.”

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Media Contacts:

American Heart Association Communications -214.706.1173

Suzette Harris -- Suzette.harris@heart.org