Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Reduce diseases linked to excess sugar consumption by introducing a nationwide sugar tax.
The average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year or three pounds a week. The World Health Organization says only five percent of our daily calories should come from sugar, but the USDA estimates that sugar makes up sixteen percent of the average American’s caloric intake. It has become nearly impossible to avoid added sugar as it appears in everything from pasta sauce to yogurt. One eight ounce serving of Fage 0% Greek Yogurt with Honey has 36 grams of sugar. This is the maximum daily amount recommended for men (for women, 24 grams).
The negative effects of added sugar consumption are potentially life-threatening; diabetes, obesity, and heart disease have been linked to added sugar as well as many troubling symptoms such as insomnia. In the 2013 Credit Suisse Report, statistics showed “30%-40% of healthcare expenditures in the USA go to help address issues that are closely tied to excess consumption of sugar.” With obesity rates only dropping three percent in the last three years, it seems Americans are not getting the message about the dangers of excess sugar.
One of the best ways to get the message across to the largest amount of people is by setting a tax on sugar itself. Evidence has shown that countries that imposed a soda tax had lower rates of soda consumption than their non-taxed counterparts. Recently, Mexico put into effect a one-peso-per-liter tax that raised prices ten percent. A year later, data showed a six percent decrease in sales, which in proportion to the amount of soda consumed was a positive decrease. This will significantly affect obesity and diabetes rates among Mexican citizens.
Tell President Obama you support our nation’s health. Add your name to this petition and encourage a United States sugar tax.
Dear President Obama,
The average American consumes three pounds of sugar a week. The World Health Organization says only five percent of our daily calories should come from sugar. The USDA estimates that sugar makes up a staggering 16 percent of the average American’s caloric intake. It’s therefore very easy to see why rates of diabetes and obesity are soaring in our country.
Recently in Mexico a soda tax was implemented which has begun to show positive results. Since it’s implementation, a six percent decrease in sales has been observed. This is a significant improvement based amount of soda sold to Mexican citizens every day. Though the effects of this tax have not been fully observed, it a positive outcome is projected. Please take action to improve the health and wellbeing of American citizens by imposing a sugar tax and reduce the prevalence of life-threatening disease in our country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass