“Pop,” “soda,” “Coke,” or the “fizzy stuff.” Whatever you call it, soda has been under fire as of late for its link to obesity and metabolic diseases, not only in the U.S. but around the world.
According to a 2012 Gallup poll, nearly half of Americans report drinking at least one glass of soda daily, A typical can of soda has more than 40 grams (10 teaspoons) of sugar, which far surpasses the suggested added sugar intake of 25 grams (6 teaspoons) daily.
What’s more troubling is that children between the ages of 9 and 19 are actually consuming more sugar than adults! Nearly a third of young people in America are now overweight or obese, but promising studies show that children can improve their health in as little as 10 days just by reducing their added sugar intake.
Placing an added tax on soda could be one way to get people's consumption down. But Marion Nestle, author of Soda Politics, reports that taxing soda is an uphill battle: The American Beverage Association has spent $114 million fighting such taxes over the last five years.
Despite opposition from powerful corporations, people are still fighting to reform the soda market. In 2012, Michael Bloomberg made a bold proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from all New York City restaurants. The initiative was approved by the New York City Board of Health but repealed as unconstitutional at the end of July 2014.
At least 30 other cities and states — from San Francisco to Telluride, Colorado — have tried to either ban or tax soda, but most have failed. Berkeley, California, was the first (and, so far, the only) American city to pass a tax on sugary beverages.