Pop tax a bad idea

Pop tax a bad idea

EDITOR:

Our industry supports improving health care in America. We also support effective initiatives that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on the health of our country, rather than discriminatory taxes (“Tax soda to pay for health care, prevention;” July 9).

We all want to improve health care, but taxes don’t make anyone healthy. Education, exercise and balanced diets do that.

We are proud to be doing our part to reduce childhood obesity and teach healthy lifestyles. In 2006, America’s leading beverage companies teamed with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to implement national School Beverage Guidelines as part of a broader effort to teach children about the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. These guidelines remove full-calories soft drinks from all schools and provide for more lower-calorie, nutritious, smaller-portion beverage options. In just two years of a three-year implementation, beverage calories available in schools have already been cut by 58 percent and nearly 80 percent of schools under contract with bottlers are in compliance. We are delivering on our commitment.

The complexities of health care reform won’t be solved by a tax on soda pop. It’s simply the wrong public policy for such a complex problem.

KIMBERLY McCONVILLE

Executive Director

Ohio Soft Drink Association

Columbus