A nationwide tax could do wonders for your waistline and wallet.

Increasing the tax on sugary drinks by just a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages could cut consumption and disease, according to a study conducted by Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues, eventually helping to prevent heart attacks, strokes, cases of diabetes and premature deaths.

According to the study, Americans consumed 13.8 billion gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages in 2009, or approximately 45 gallons of soda, fruit punch, sweetened tea, sports drinks, and all other beverages with added caloric sweeteners per person.

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