ISSUE | SODA TAX

Best for the kids

Sugary drinks should be regarded as a treat, not a staple ("Touting a tax's health benefit," Sunday). Having been an advertising writer for more than 30 years, I know that words matter. Calling Mayor Kenney's proposed tax on sugary drinks a "grocery tax" is wrong and irresponsible. Those commercials sponsored by the American Beverage Council infuriate me. This would be a tax on sugary drinks full of empty calories - period.

And it's time that sugary drinks get the bad press they deserve: Any doctor will tell you that those beverages are a main factor behind the skyrocketing incidence of obesity and diabetes. Sugary drinks were never meant to be used for rehydrating.

This commonsense tax would improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens - children - by putting them on a path to a solid education and better health.

|Marianne Pontillo, Philadelphia