NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Lawmakers along with health experts are pushing to put a beverage tax on all types of sugary drinks, not just soda.
Fruit drinks, sports drinks, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, enhanced waters, and energy drinks would be included. Health advocates said it would be a healthy move.
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Ellen Liskov is a registered dietitian with Yale-New Haven Hospital. She said, “Taxing sugary beverages where the only nutrition in that beverage is really sugar or high fructose corn syrup it’s a good concept.”
Connecticut State Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D – Westport) told News 8, “We know imposing such taxes not only might generate revenue but more importantly start to change behaviors.”
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The tax would also generate revenue for the state, and some of the money would help fund health programs.
Sally Mancini is the director of advocacy resources with the Rudd Center for food policy and obesity. Mancini talked to News 8 about a recent study performed by the Rudd Center.
According to our estimates with updated date in April of 2017, Connecticut would generate one and forty five million dollars in tax revenue annually from a one cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks.”
Some consumers said it would help keep them away from buying sugary drinks. Nally Sahin said, “It would actually help me cut down on it.”
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Others told News 8 the tax wouldn’t keep them from buying it. Lynn Forte said, “It just wouldn’t deter me. If I’m going to buy it for a party and people want to drink soda I’m going to buy it.”
Supporters said the benefits are a win-win. Liskov said, “I think it’s a step in the right direction. I don’t think it will single-handedly solve the crisis of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.” Sahin added, “We like surgery drinks because we like the taste of it. It’s not necessarily good for us. So seeing that’s it’s more of a luxury item , I don’t mind the tax and the state needs money.”