In response to the March 19 Herald story, “Soda tax backlash,” as a registered dietitian and a daughter of a lifelong proud Teamster member, I am disappointed in the position of Teamster’s Local 174. The American Beverage Association is funding the group, “Yes! to Affordable Groceries,” which is a great marketing slogan, but will not help the health of the kids and families of this country.
“In the past 30 years, the occurrence of overweight in children has tripled and it is now estimated that one in five children in the U.S. is overweight (17 percent). Prevalence of overweight is especially higher among certain populations such as Hispanic (16 percent), African American (19 percent), Mexican Americans, and Native Americans where some studies indicate prevalence of greater than 85th percentile of 35-40 percent,” reports Obesity.org.
The Herald story states: “as costs of taxed products go up, demand for them will go down.” That is the exact reason for the tax, which is often used to help educate our kids and communities to eat healthier.
I would hope that the Teamsters would be more interested in the health and welfare of their union families. Instead of worrying about job losses for not delivering soda, the union could work within the communities and have some of these grocers stock healthier foods, so that no jobs are lost, our kids obesity goes down, and the overall health of communities go up.
If the Teamsters were really worried about their working families they would not be supporting this. As more people become educated about the health and obesity rates of our kids and families, a soda tax might definitely be more popular.