Is it any wonder Big Soda is going to fight this one?


Philadelphia becomes the first major US city to take brave action and pass a tax on soda, despite fierce resistance from the beverage industry:

NPR: Philadelphia Becomes 1st Major U.S. City To Pass A Tax On Soda

The tax, which amounts to 1.5 cents per ounce, will hit most beverages with added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Big Soda is, not so surprisingly, fighting this, claiming that the tax is not only discriminatory but also unwelcomed by Americans and illegal. But Mayor Kenney voted for the passing of the law, and says he’s ready to fight for it.

Philadelphia joins Berkeley, the first US city with a soda tax, and countries like Mexico and the UK that have already decided to tax soda. The trend is clear – sugar is the new tobacco.


UK Soda Tax Introduced in Bold Move Against Childhood Obesity

U.S. Soda Consumption Falls to 30-Year Low

South Africa Will Start Taxing Soda

Study: Avoiding Diet Beverages Helps Women Lose Weight


  1. Anne
    They key to getting it passed was dedicating all the revenue to programs that benefit children: universal pre-K and capital improvements to parks & recreation centers and libraries. There is no wide-spread belief that sugar is intrinsically bad for you. My local school crossing guard hands out artificial juice boxes to kids every day. Its depressing.
  2. CHRIS
    What happens if the government decides saturated fat is bad and passes a fat tax? What about a salt tax? Animal eating tax? It's not going to change anything in Philly except take from the poor. Plus, the real reason they passed this tax is NOT the health of their citizens, it was to fund pre-K. Just read this from NYT article. It's only a redistribution of wealth tax, not the well being of their citizens. "But on Thursday, a measure to tax sweetened drinks passed in Philadelphia, one of the country’s largest cities — and also one of its poorest. Indeed, raising revenue was the winning argument in Philadelphia.
    Jim Kenney, the mayor, took a different tack from that of politicians who have tried and failed to pass sugary-drink taxes. He didn’t talk about the tax as a nanny-state measure designed to discourage sugar-saturated soft drinks. And he didn’t promise to earmark the proceeds for health programs. Instead, he cast the soft drink industry as a tantalizing revenue source that could be tapped to fund popular city programs, including universal prekindergarten."
  3. ChrisWNC
    I never get excited about a new tax. The reason that municipalities are looking to tax soda is purely financial: it's a new revenue stream. We pay too many taxes already.
  4. Paul
    Just another political scam to victimize the very same people who've suffered the most from government's bad dietary regulations. Decades of pushing carbs over fats caused widespread health problems, not too little taxes or Coke. More taxes? No! More accurate information- yes! Keep up your fantastic work on the information front DietDoctor -- thanks!
  5. DLM
    I'm happy to pay taxes; it's how we support our common society. But I agree that this is a tax that blames the victim. Unless these taxes are coupled with restrictions on advertising the target products and distributing accurate information about them, we've made a perfect incentive for companies to continue researching ways to make unhealthy food more palatable. The tobacco taxes were effective because advertising was restricted and tobacco companies were required to fund smoking cessation programs and information.

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