a year after Berkeley’s soda tax took effect in 2015, the city saw a nearly 10 percent drop in purchases of sugary drinks and a nearly 16 percent increase in sales of bottled water ... Last year, voters approved a similar soda tax in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, Calif., as well as in Boulder, Colo., Cook County, Ill., and Philadelphia. Santa Fe, N.M., and Seattle are considering soda taxes.

Sugar does induce the same responses in the region of the brain known as the “reward centre” as nicotine, cocaine, heroin and alcohol ... Sugar stimulates the release of the same neurotransmitters – dopamine in particular... The more we use these substances, the less dopamine we produce naturally in the brain. The result is that we need more of the drug to get the same pleasurable response, while natural pleasures, such as sex and eating, please us less and less.

The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead ... The revelations are important because the debate about the relative harms of sugar and saturated fat continues today ... For many decades, health officials encouraged Americans to reduce their fat intake, which led many people to consume low-fat, high-sugar foods that some experts now blame for fueling the obesity crisis.

Nestlé’s impact on the history of how we eat is almost impossible to overstate ... Nestlé is by far the largest food company in the world. Its 335,000 employees produce more than 2,000 brands... Among the world’s 195 nations, it sells in 189 ... Nestlé’s goal is to redefine itself as a scientifically driven “nutrition, health, and wellness company,” the kind that can thrive in a world where regulators may look at Butterfingers not so differently from Benson & Hedges.

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it ... This makes scientific inquiry prone to the eternal rules of human social life: deference to the charismatic, herding towards majority opinion, punishment for deviance, and intense discomfort with admitting to error.

Do our current front-of-the-package labels, which only state calories, allow consumers to “make informed choices that are right for them? ... Britain has traffic-light labeling, but because of industry opposition, it’s only voluntary ... Ecuador is the only country where the labels are mandatory ... the labels have a strong effect on consumer behavior; consumers in 31 percent of households surveyed said they had stopped buying certain products because of the stoplight, most often soft drinks.

Big Sugar steered scientists away from looking at the ingredient’s harmful effects ... Evidence of corporations’ influence on science can lead to certain policy changes that biological and epidemiological evidence alone cannot ... companies’ activities—including how they formulate their food, how their advertising and marketing affect what people buy, and their scientists’ roles in crafting nutritional guidelines—could help explain a number of major public-health problems

consumers in Mexico bought an average of 6 percent fewer sugary drinks than would have been expected without the tax, which increased the cost of sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages by about 10 percent ... Mexico is one of the world’s top consumers of sugary beverages. The average Mexican drinks 111 liters of sugar-sweetened drinks per year, while the average American drinks 103 liters a year ... Mexico also has the highest prevalence of diabetes among OECD countries,

the Department of Health and Human Services ... gave Americans the go-ahead to eat eggs and others foods rich in cholesterol, to drink as many as five cups of coffee daily and to enjoy a range of fats long avoided by many ... The new dietary guidelines ...are the first ever to recommend a limit -- 10% of daily calories -- to the amount of added sugars Americans should consume ... 13% of Americans' daily calories comes from added sugar, a proportion that rises to 15 to 17% for children and teens

sugar, despite its relatively limited ability to create jobs, has made itself perhaps the most powerful political force in Florida. Since 1998, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, the sugar industry has given at least twenty-one million dollars to Florida candidates, political parties, and PACs ... after each gubernatorial election, representatives of the industry sit down with the new governor to give him a list of their legislative priorities.