Last week, the National Soda Summit met in Washington, D.C. to consider national and local strategies to limit consumption of sugary beverages. The conference brought together national and international experts, public health professionals and local, state and national policymakers to explore a comprehensive set of topics, including:
- The latest science on sugar drinks and health
- Lessons learned from past and current soda tax battles
- Other policies that help limit the consumption of sugar drinks including government procurement standards, warning labels and capping portion sizes
Here are a few reports from the Summit:
- Staff from ChangeLab Solutions led a workshop on their Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Playbook. The guide provides 10 strategies for communities and states to consider, organized in a sequence that the organization has seen many places follow. In general, communities and states begin with public education campaigns and work their way up to restrictions on the availability of SSBs. It is important to remember, says ChangeLab Solutions, that no single policy will substantially reduce SSB consumption or radically improve health. A collection of strategies, such as those listed in the playbook, will create environments that promote health.
- Writing after the Summit, Sally Greenberg from the National Consumer League makes the case for a national soda tax.
- Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) addressed the second National Soda Summit via video, saying that a national soda excise tax would help address the serious damage sugar drinks are doing to our health.