Tolstoy wrote that time and patience are the two most powerful warriors. The advocates of measures restricting the marketing and sale of sugar-sweetened beverages have had to employ plenty of each, and the payoff may be coming.
It’s difficult for community efforts to fight against big money, and that’s something of which the beverage producers have plenty. But by repeating the same message — that sugar-sweetened beverages are deadly when consumed in quantity, and their marketers will not voluntarily restrain themselves from peddling their wares to children — it becomes evident that something must be done.
The current battlegrounds are Berkeley and San Francisco, where votes will be held on Nov. 4 on local soda taxes. (I’m using “soda” to mean “sugar-sweetened beverages,” including some Gatorade and Snapple drinks — which are not really “sodas” but are also pretty much useless, nutritionally, contain loads of sugar and are certainly taxable sugar-sweetened beverages. “Diet” sodas, which are really sodas but contain no sugar, are not included but have problems of their own — recent studies suggest they may contribute to diabetes and obesity rather than mitigate them.)
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