Recently, Governor David Paterson (D–N.Y.) proposed a tax on sugared beverages for the residents of New York as a means to deal with the obesity epidemic in his state while tightening the belt on the ballooning budget. To explain his feelings on the matter, he wrote an editorial for CNN.com.

Paterson stressed that childhood obesity is the new public health epidemic and that one possible way to fight it is to address one of problem’s main causes—consuming too many sugary drinks. He cited a Harvard study that found that each additional 12-ounce soda consumed a day increases the risk of a child becoming obese by 60 percent.

Obese and overweight children should not be stigmatized, Paterson writes, adding that it is his and other adults’ duty to address this crisis. The proposed tax would generate $404 million. The money would benefit public health programs, such as obesity prevention, across the state.

Currently, 32 percent of all black children are overweight or obese.

Read Paterson’s complete commentary here.


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