Physician groups call for taxes on sugary drinks

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Physicians’ groups have long taken a stand against high consumption of sugary drinks in the United States — and now they are calling for several policies to limit access to sugar-sweetened beverages among children and teens.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association released policy recommendations on Monday targeted at federal, state and local lawmakers, encouraging them to implement policies that would reduce children’s intake of sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks and juice.

The policy statement is the first time AAP has recommended taxes on sugary drinks, it said.

“I talk with my patients and their families all the time about the health harms of sugary drinks and the advantage of drinking primarily water and milk. But still, sugary drinks are a mainstay in many children’s diets. They are inexpensive, easy to find, heavily marketed, and taste sweet, so children like them,” said Dr. Natalie Muth, a practicing pediatrician and registered dietitian in Carlsbad, California, who was lead author of the policy statement, published in the journal Pediatrics.

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