On Wednesday, May 19th, Redstone Center Director Dr. Bill Dietz testified before the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Human Services in a virtual hearing on the Nutrition Equity Amendment Act of 2021. Among the provisions in the legislation, passage of the bill would include a 1.5 cent per ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) sold in the District. Dietz supports such a measure, as excise taxes across the country have proven effective in reducing consumption of SSBs by changing their price on the shelf. Data show that SSB consumption is one of the most significant contributors to obesity in the U.S and the leading source of added sugar in the American diet. The legislation would also address additional critical health equity issues by improving access to healthy food environments and nutrition education for all District residents. Additional funding would also support community-based organizations and black-owned businesses focused on healthy eating and living in DC.
You can read Dr. Dietz’s testimony here.