BURLINGTON, Vt. - If the Alliance for a Healthier Vermont has its way, state residents would pay an addition penny-per-ounce for drinks sweetened with sugar, the Examiner reports.
In November, state Attorney General William Sorrell proposed a tax on energy drinks, flavored waters, soft drinks and sweetened iced teas, saying it would slash resident consumption of those drinks by 20 percent�"and garner $30 million in annual revenue. A recent study found that taxing soda would not translate into much weight loss.
"We know that intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with obesity, poor nutrition and displacement of healthier beverages. A reduced intake of soft drinks improves health," said Rachel Johnson, nutrition professor at the University of Vermont and member of the coalition.
However, she does not recommend banning chocolate milk because of empirical evidence pointing to the fact that kids who consume flavored milk have higher levels of calcium than those who don��t�"and that such beverages do not add more sugar to those children��s diets.
The Alliance for a Healthier Vermont supports Sorrell��s proposal, but Governor-elect Peter Shumlin is against it. The Beverage Association of Vermont also opposes any tax on drinks.