Sacramento, California - American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown made the following comments in support of the California Medical Association’s and the California Dental Association’s plan to propose a statewide sugary drink tax in the form of a 2020 ballot measure:

“The ‘Soda Shakedown’ of 2018 may have been about sugar but it leaves a distinctly sour aftertaste. The backroom dealing and appalling tactics of the soda industry are truly sickening. Unfortunately, that’s appropriate. Overconsumption of sugary beverages is sickening too many people in our nation.

“Soda taxes are working well in four California cities – reducing consumption while funding nutrition and activity programs that counter the effects of these insidiously marketed products. We all pay the price for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, dental disease and other largely preventable chronic illnesses. Cheap soda is no bargain.

“Californians have voted four times for sugary drink taxes because they know these beverages are harmful and revenue funds critical health and education programs. We were disappointed that the American Beverage Association, and their member companies, went to such great lengths to take away the right of Californians to vote for better health.

“The tsunami of chronic diseases we face as a nation threatens our future. We will be relentless in our work with communities across the state to improve public health through a statewide tax and to restore the rights of Californians to vote for what they believe best supports health in their state.

“The American Heart Association stands side by side with the California Medical Association and the California Dental Association as we fight for the health of all Californians. This is the kind of health leadership California is known for.”