Alliance For A Healthier Vermont

The Alliance for a Healthier Vermont represents a growing coalition of health care providers, businesses, educators, farmers and advocates for low income populations, children, seniors, and consumers who have signed on to the following resolution:

Resolution to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Added Drinks
and Improve the Health of Vermonters
  • WHEREAS, over 60% of Vermont adults[1] and 29% of Vermont youth[2] are overweight or obese; and

  • WHEREAS, 21% of all U.S. health care costs are spent on obesity-related conditions;[3] and

  • WHEREAS, estimated annual obesity-related medical costs for the state of Vermont are $202 million, almost half of which are attributed to Medicare ($41 million) and Medicaid ($57 million);[4] and another $14.5 million is attributable to productivity losses caused by obesity; and

  • WHEREAS, consumption of sugar-added drinks has increased 500% in the past fifty years and is now the single largest category of caloric intake in children, surpassing milk in the late 1990s;[5] and

  • WHEREAS, sugar-added drinks account for at least one-fifth of the weight gained between 1977 and 2007 in the U.S. population;[6] and

  • WHEREAS, studies suggest that a 10% price increase for sugary drinks through taxation would decrease consumption by about 8-10%; [7]

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the undersigned organization or business endorses:

  • A two-cent-per-ounce excise tax on sugar-added drinks;

  • Using the revenue to provide greater access to health care to low income Vermonters, subsidizing the purchase of healthy foods for low-income Vermonters and funding obesity prevention/education efforts that are evaluated.
American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Vermont Medical Society, Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council, Vermont Dental Society, Bi-State Primary Care Association, Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, Northwestern Medical Center, Vermont Public Health Association, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital Nutrition and Food Service, Fit and Healthy Coalition of Caledonia and Essex Counties, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Vermont Leads, Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security, Meeting Waters YMCA, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) VT, University of Vermont Medical Center, Vermont Office of the Health Care Advocate, Vermont Cancer Center, Vermont Dental Hygienists Association, Vermont-NEA, Central Vermont Medical Center, Green Mountain Dairy Farm Cooperative Federation

JOIN US! Add your business or organization to the Alliance. Download the resolution here.

[1] Vermont 2012 BRFSS Adult Behavioral Risk Factor Survey; Vermont Department of Health

[2] Vermont 2013 YRBS Youth Risk Behavior Survey; Vermont Department of Health

[3] Cawley J and Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. J Health Econ 31.1 (2012):219-230.

[4] E. A. Finkelstein, I. C. Fiebelkorn, and G. Wang, “State-level estimates of annual medical expenditures ….attributable to obesity,” Obesity Research, vol. 12 no. 1 (January 2004), pp. 18-24; .and Andreyeva T, Luedicke J, Wang YC.  State-level estimates of obesity-attributable costs of absenteeism. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2014, in press.

[5] Block G. Foods contributing to energy intake in the US: Data from NHANES III and NHANES 1999-2000. J Food Comp Anal 17 (2004): 439-47.

[6] G. Woodward-Lopez*, J. Kao and L. Ritchie, Dr Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight & Health, University of California. To what extent have sweetened beverages contributed to the obesity epidemic? Public Health Nutrition, 2010

[7] Briggs, A. D., et al. (2013). "Overall and income specific effect on prevalence of overweight and obesity of 20% sugar sweetened drink tax in UK: econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study." BMJ 347: f6189.