HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Health and pediatric officials continued a push for a state sugary drink tax.
The American Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics held a news conference to support such a tax.
It happened at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford at 10 a.m.
The attendees said they support Gov. Ned Lamont's recommendation and passage of the tax.
They recommended that revenue from the excise tax be used to support programs that benefit population health and wellness. Connecticut would gain more than $100 million in annual revenue.
They said children and teens consume gallons of sugary drinks each year. Those drinks include sports drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and sodas.
Dietary Guidelines recommend that children and teens consume fewer than 10 percent of calories from added sugars. However, data shows that they are drinking 17 percent, half of which comes from sugary drinks.
American Heart Association officials linked the drinks to chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They said people who consume one to two cans of sugary drinks per day or more have a 26 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to the health officials being at the news conference, Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport, Sofia Segura-Perez of the Hispanic Health Council and Bridgeport Health Director Maritza Bond were there.
In a statement on Tuesday, Republican State Senator Len Fasano said "Talk about a Big Gulp. Seems like Democrats are drinking the sugar free Kool-Aid. Once again Connecticut Democrats’ hypocrisy is on full display at the Capitol today. They are so concerned about the health of individuals they are fiercely advocating for a new tax on soda, but take no issue with pushing people to opt for chemically laced diet products. They are so concerned with people consuming sugar, but they seem to have no problem with the amount of marijuana people have access to. If Democrats are truly concerned about people’s health they sure have a funny way of showing it.”