There is an issue on the City of Boulder ballot called 2H, a sugar tax on sweetened beverages, that will hurt local beverage brands who are on a mission to help consumers with healthy drink options.
We don’t disagree with the concept of reducing unhealthy products and teaching healthy eating habits. We have concerns about the wording of 2H and that its vagueness also taxes healthy beverage options.
2H includes any type of nutritive sweetener and does not take into account modified versus natural sweeteners. Research shows that these types of sweeteners are not created equal and that high fructose corn syrup drives significantly higher weight gain than other nutritive sweeteners. Read the study here.
2H doesn’t tax the amount of sugar in drinks but rather the volume of liquid. This means that a lightly sweetened 12 oz drink with five grams of sugar will be taxed at a significantly higher rate per gram of sugar than a can of high fructose corn syrup sweetened soda.
The literature published by supporters of 2H describes the connection between soft drinks and obesity yet the tax includes all sweetened drinks over 5g of sugar. There are many people in Boulder working hard to create healthy drink alternatives such as kombucha, chai, sports drinks and flavored waters but they will now be penalized for their efforts.
Diet soda is exempt which means aspartame and sucralose are not included. Research shows that obesity is also tightly linked to diet drinks. Read one of the studies here.
We believe there is a better and more specific way to write this initiative to attack the problem in our community. Please make an informed decision when you go to the polls on November 8th.
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