Leveling the Playing Field: The Berkeley Soda Tax

Just Food: Episode 3

RELEASE DATE: October 5, 2017

Please see here for a written transcript of the story

This episode follows the story of the nation’s first sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax here in Berkeley—from how the measure came into law in 2014 to how the tax and the revenue it generates are shaping the health of Berkeley residents today.

We learn how the legislation has helped level the playing field for food and beverage choices on two fronts: by influencing soda prices and consumption, but also by providing additional funding to nutrition- and food-related programs in the city, such as the Ecology Center’s Youth Environmental Academy (YEA).

This episode features:

  • Kris Madsen, Associate Professor, Joint Medical Program and Public Health Nutrition, University of California, Berkeley; Faculty Director, Berkeley Food Institute
  • Maya Otey, Berkeley High School Student and Ecology Center YEA Intern
  • Mayumi Rubin-Saika, Recent Berkeley High School Graduate and Ecology Center YEA Intern
  • Giuliana Blasi, Youth Development Program Manager, Ecology Center

This podcast was produced by the Berkeley Food Institute in partnership with the UC Berkeley Advanced Media Institute at the Graduate School of Journalism. Executive Producer is Lacy Jane Roberts. Reporter is Graelyn Brashear. Host is Laura Klivans. Theme music by Roy Baril.

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Youth Environmental Academy volunteers work at different outreach events to teach the community about the adverse health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages and share healthier food options. Photos by the Ecology Center.