Why a Soda Tax Could Be Coming to Texas

How many calories do you think are in a can of Coke? How about a Big Gulp?

By Hady MawajdehDecember 2, 2015 9:33 am

More than 36 percent of American adults and 17 percent of youth under age 19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health advocates have argued that one of the best ways to fight obesity would be to tax sugary drinks.

Now, some advocates are hoping to bring the fight to a drink cooler near you.

Politico’s food and agriculture reporter Helena Bottemiller Evich discusses those efforts, including a couple from Houston who has launched an initiative to take sugar out of the American diet.

“Soda taxes have been a controversial, emerging policy issue for a couple of years now,” Bottemiller Evich says. “The idea is that if you apply sin tax to sugary drinks like sodas and sports drinks and energy drinks, that you might be able to reduce consumption.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why advocates target soda in particular and why, more generally, folks believe now is the time for a soda tax discussion

– How successes in Mexico or Berkeley, California, could influence the discussion in places like Austin

– The “billionaire” factor in the fight against sugary drinks, including former New York Mayor Bloomberg and Houston couple Laura and John Arnold

Listen to the full interview in the player above.