Last week, the Philadelphia City Council overwhelmingly passed a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet drinks that will be used to help fund universal prekindergarten [“A sweet deal to cut down on sugar,” editorial, June 20].
With The Post primarily writing about Orlando and the presidential campaign, it’s easy to overlook other recent events, but the tax is highly significant and heralds a far brighter future for the city and the nation. It’s not news that sugary drinks have contributed to high rates of obesity and diabetes. In Philadelphia, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 67.9 percent of adults and 41 percent of youths ages 6 through 17 are overweight or obese, politics has been pushed aside to give residents a better life. I’m proud to support the soda tax and look forward to seeing other cities follow Philadelphia’s example.
Spencer Davis, Washington
The editorial on Philadelphia’s soda tax ignored the fact that the tax applies to sugary sodas and diet sodas. If the issue was nutrition and the intent was to cut down on the intake of sugar, the tax should have been applied solely to sugary beverages. But the reality is that the tax is designed to maximize revenue for the city under the cover of a laudable cause.
Paul Krumhaus, Annandale
Philadelphia’s “sweet deal ” to discourage sugar consumption is a win for the children and families of Philadelphia and deserves consideration by other cities and states looking for ways to make high-quality prekindergarten more broadly available to all children, particularly those from our poorest communities, while also working to reduce dangerous and costly health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
Children who participate in high-quality prekindergarten programs that support positive parenting are more confident and social, and better-prepared for learning over the long term, less likely to need special education services and more likely to graduate high school and attain college degrees.
The United States needs to invest in its youngest children’s education and must find the resources to do so. As the editorial stated: “Philadelphia’s policy opens the door to changes needed across the country.”
Jacqueline Shannon, New York
The writer chairs the early childhood and arts education department at Brooklyn College
City University of New York.