The American Medical Association voted to adopt several new policies at a conference held in Washington. These policies aim to reduce the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages due to health concerns. Dr. William E. Kobler, a board member, stated that consuming the large amount of sugar found in these beverages can be linked to the development of a number of diseases. The policies passed included supporting an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, replacing them with healthier options in schools and hospitals, and labeling these drinks with plain labels that include a warning.
Supporting the AMA’s decision is a report published by the Council on Science and Public Health. This study indicates that health care costs would be reduced by almost $1 billion if individuals did not consume as much sugar. The House of Delegates indicated the AMA would continue to push government officials to add an excise tax to sugar-sweetened drinks and would encourage schools and other facilities to provide different beverages. The delegates also voted to ask government officials to pass rules regarding the SNAP food stamps plan and healthy eating. Local food banks will also be encouraged to adhere to nutritional guidelines.
These findings were published in Food Business News on June 19, 2017.