Quantcast
Connect with us

California residents support soda tax to fight obesity, health study shows

Published

on

Fighting obesity by taxing sugary drinks and restricting junk food advertisements aimed at children has support from a wide majority of residents surveyed in a Southern California public health study released on Thursday.

The findings from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health come as friction mounts between the beverage industry and health advocates over the best way to fight obesity and diabetes, tied by studies to over-consumption of soda, sweets and junk food.

“There have been a lot of arguments against this sort of policy,” including claims it will cost the poor more to buy food, said Paul Simon, head of chronic disease prevention for the county and lead author of the study.

But Simon said nearly two-thirds of those surveyed by the county in a broad 2011 assessment of public attitudes toward health issues, said they supported a soda tax, and three-quarters favored limiting junk food advertising.

Public health advocates across the country have clamored for ways to reduce consumption of sugary drinks and junk food, but lawmakers and voters have generally opposed enacting taxes or other regulations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lawmakers in Illinois rejected a measure in late May that would have taxed soda purchases at one cent per ounce, and a tax proposed for California failed in the state Legislature last year.

On Wednesday, an attorney for New York City asked the state’s top court to revive the city’s ban on large sugary drinks, which was overturned by a lower court last year.

In California, a measure to require warning labels on sodas passed the state Senate last week.

ADVERTISEMENT

The industry association CalBev downplayed the Los Angeles survey and other polls showing support for such restrictions.

“A polling question asked in a vacuum without any context often gives the impression that voters support these types of taxes, but the reality is when you put it directly to the voters they always go down in defeat,” the association said Thursday.

Simon and his colleagues analyzed data from a survey of about 1,000 Los Angeles County adults called randomly by telephone. They found support for such restrictions to be highest among low-income residents, whose obesity and diabetes rates are highest.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s described as regressive, that it would discriminate against poorer people because they have less money,” Simon said. “Nonetheless we found in our study that there is more support among those groups.”

(Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee in Berkeley, Calif; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Peter Cooney)


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].

Send confidential news tips to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Bernie Sanders’ staff demand to be paid the $15-an-hour minimum wage he advocates: report

Published

on

Campaign workers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are demanding an increase in pay consistent with the senator's campaign rhetoric, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

"Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications," the newspaper reported.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump ‘leads a domestic hate movement’ — and the world is watching in shock: WaPo columnist

Published

on

President Donald Trump's racism is shocking the entire globe, Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent wrote in a Thursday column.

"One of the most chilling things about President Trump’s hate-rally in North Carolina — which devolved into chants of “send her back,” directed at a nonwhite immigrant member of Congress — was the profusion of tweets about it from abroad," Sargent reported.

"As the president of the United States leads a domestic hate movement, the world is watching," he explained.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Hope Hicks to be investigated by House after new documents reveal she may have lied to Congress: report

Published

on

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating President Donald Trump's former White House communications director after new documents cast doubt on whether she told the truth while testifying before Congress.

"Hicks told the committee last month that she was not aware of the hush payment to Stormy Daniels when it was arranged. Today’s docs put her in phone calls with [Michael] Cohen and Trump during the period the payment was arranged, but don’t explicitly say those calls were about the payment," Wall Street Journal White House correspondent Rebecca Ballhaus reported.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image