Build a Healthier Bethel

A beautiful sky over the river in Bethel, Alaska

Why a tax on sugary beverages is a good idea:

  • Sugary beverages, like sports drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks and pop are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet
  • Unlike other products high in added sugars, sugary beverages offer no nutritional value
  • Alaskans drink a lot of sugary beverages:
    • Almost 50% of Alaskan high school students and about 23% of Alaskan adults drink one or more sugary beverages each day
    • Among Yup’ik youth, sugary beverages contribute more than 75% of beverage intake, while intake of milk and 100% fruit juice is low
    • 31% of Alaskan three-year-old’s drink some amount of sugary beverages each day
  • Drinking too many sugary beverages can raise the risk of tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
    • Each additional serving of sugary drinks per day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 13-18%.
  • In other cities, sugary beverage taxes have proven to be effective at reducing purchases and excise taxes do not hurt local business or increase unemployment.

What Residents in Bethel Gain:

Funding for projects like:

  • the Phase II/community gym expansion of the YKFC
  • current and expanded operations and programming of the YKFC
  • the development and maintenance of Bethel parks, recreation and trails
  • the potential to use funds for future drinking water-related projects in the City of Bethel

Designated revenue for projects that are often cut in local budgets 


A boy shooting a basket

Learn More:


How you can help:

E-mail city council members and tell them to support the sugary beverage tax and:

  • Use funding for the Phase II community gym expansion of the YKFC along with development and maintenance of Bethel parks, recreation and trails
  • Amend the sugary beverages ordinance to reduce the proposed tax on powdered beverages, like Tang
  • Accept the recommendations from the Parks, Recreation, Aquatic Health and Safety Center committee

E-mail city council-members: