IPHI’s CEO Elissa Bassler talks with WBEZ about the health risks of sugar-sweetened beverages

Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute and Executive Director of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, was featured on WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift to share her response to a June 18th, 2013 letter signed by Mayor Emanuel along with 17 other mayors asking Congress to reconsider proposed cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The letter also asked Congress to test and evaluate approaches limiting SNAP’s subsidization of sugar-sweetened beverages and to provide nutrition incentives for SNAP recipients.

As Bassler said, “There are real harms in sugar-sweetened beverages… this is a large societal issue, and not just an issue in SNAP, and not just an issue for poor people.” Listen to the webcast.

IPHI is currently conducting an Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on proposed policy to exclude the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages from SNAP in Illinois. The assessment will also consider the potential impacts of alternative policies. IPHI will be releasing the findings of their HIA soon! Learn more about IPHI’s HIA on SNAP and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages.

Sugar-sweetened beverages make up 51% of added sugars consumed by Americans and are the only food or beverage product that has been proven to be directly linked to obesity. To learn more about how you can get involved in reducing obesity in Illinois, check out the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity.