Soda Tax Benefit for Schools Pegged at $233 per Student

A study to be released today estimates a 1-cent per ounce tax on sugary sodas and other sweetened drinks would generate $233 per student and fund initiatives to prevent childhood obesity. “The science linking sugary drinks to the obesity epidemic is rock solid,” said Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, who authored the study. Goldstein is a leading proponent behind the largely successful removal of junk food and sodas from school vending machines and cafeterias. “It’s time to make sure that the cost of these beverages includes the social cost of the harm they are doing.” The study, based on estimates by the state Board of Equalization, predicts AB 669, introduced by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Carmel, would raise $1.7 billion statewide.  The bill would send 35 percent of the money to schools to promote nutrition and physical activity, 35 percent to community intiatives to prevent overweight children, and 20 percent to state-run programs targeting obesity.

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