CHOICES Project to Be Featured in Webinar 2/9: “Is Now the Time for a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax in New York City?”

Webinar: “Is Now the Time for a Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax in New York City?”
Sponsored by the New York State Health Foundation
Wednesday, February 9, 1:00pm EST

Nearly 60% of Americans consume more added sugar than experts recommend, which can lead to dietary disease and increased health care costs. Research shows that sugary drink taxes are effective at decreasing the amount of added sugar that people consume, and the seven U.S. jurisdictions that have imposed these taxes generate significant revenue from the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages. Yet, proposals to levy such taxes continue to stoke fierce debate about personal freedom, raising the question whether New York City, typically a leader in food policy, should impose a sugar-sweetened beverage tax.

Please join the New York State Health Foundation for a webinar with Xavier Morales, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Praxis Project, and Steven Gortmaker, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Morales, the former chair of the City of Berkeley’s sugar-sweetened beverage tax expert panel, will discuss the potential impact on New York City communities, applying lessons learned from his work allocating tax revenue in Berkeley. Dr. Gortmaker will discuss research on the potential health care cost impact of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in New York City.

The 60-minute webinar will feature a short discussion followed by audience Q&A.

Dr. Gortmaker will be discussing two recently-released CHOICES Project reports that detail findings from modeling the implementation of either a sugary drink excise tax or a sugary and diet drink excise tax in both New York City and New York state, each at three potential tax rates ($0.01/ounce, $0.015/ounce, and $0.02/ounce).

All 12 tax models resulted in lower levels of sugary drink consumption, thousands of people for whom obesity would be prevented (referred to as “cases” throughout the reports), improved health equity, and hundreds of millions of dollars in health care cost savings.