AMA says soda taxes should be used to fund antiobesity programs

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “The American Medical Association voted at its annual meeting to adopt a policy that recognizes soda taxes as one way to pay for antiobesity programs, and that says any such tax revenue should go to programs to treat obesity and related conditions.”

The group, in a “statement … noted that studies have shown sugar-sweetened beverages to be ‘strongly and consistency associated with increased body weight and a number of health conditions like type 2 diabetes.'” Reuters reports that in a statement, AMA board member Dr. Alexander Ding said, “While there is no silver bullet that will alone reverse the meteoric rise of obesity, there are many things we can do to fight this epidemic and improve the health of our nation.”

MedPage Today reports, “The soda tax issue has come up at previous AMA meetings, and certain groups within the association have called outright for a tax on sodas, but the full House of Delegates has never adopted such a policy. The AMA, does, however, have policies supporting taxes on alcohol and tobacco products.”

The AP reports, “The American Medical Association put its weight behind requiring yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity for public schoolchildren and teens.” The association “agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders.”

Physicians “will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help with that under the new policy adopted on the final day of the AMA’s annual policymaking meeting.”

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