March – National Nutrition Month

Leading Causes of Overweight in Children

  • Inappropriate eating habits
  • Skipping breakfast and overeating later
  • High fat, sugar, and sodium content in snacks and meals
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Eating out and meals on the go
  • Decrease in “family meal time”
  • Lack of consistent meal times
  • Inappropriate serving sizes (super sizing)

Problem: Trends in Beverages Consumption

SSBs Sugar-sweetened beverages: drinks sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other caloric sweeteners Between 1977 and 2001, consumption of carbonated soda rose 137%.

Policy: Taxes on Sugar Sweetened Beverages

[Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, 2012]

›2 Goals:

  • Raising revenue
  • Changing consumption

A national tax of a penny per ounce on SSBs would generate approximately $13 billion in 2013 alone. ›

What Kind of Tax?

  • Excise Tax
    • Advantages: generates stable revenue, can be imposed at distribution level
    • Disadvantage: Difficult to impose on local level
  • Sales Tax

›Should diet or lite beverages be taxed?

Problem: Food/Beverage Marketing Targeting Children

Shrek Twinkie For all families, regardless of economic status, food marketing has become a problem, with food of little to no nutritional value being advertised to specifically appeal to children. Present advertising tactics have been criticized as predatory, and ingredient-labeling practices of companies have been discovered to be deceptive.

Policy: Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative

This is a voluntary self-regulation program designed to shift the mix of foods advertised to children under 12 to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles.

Problem: Restaurant Meals

  • ›More Money Spent:
  • ›More Calories Eaten
    • Children eat nearly as they twice as many calories (770) at restaurants as do during a meal at home (420).

Strategy: Shared Family Mealtime

[Community Partnership of Southern Arizona]

›“Strive for Five” challenge: Parents pledge to eat five meals together at home as a family per week for five weeks.

Author: Lisa Wang