Reports Spur Officials To Consider Connection Between Soda, Obesity
Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) has announced plans to hold hearings in November on the connection between soda consumption and obesity, Reuters reports.
Padilla chairs the California Senate's Select Committee on Obesity and Diabetes.
Study on Soda Consumption, Obesity
Padilla's announcement follows the release of a new study on soda consumption from the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (Baertlein, Reuters, 9/17).
For the study, researchers collected data from more than 40,000 participants in the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (Jimenez, Fresno Bee, 9/16).
The report identified daily soda consumption among:
- 62% of adolescents ages 12 to 17;
- 41% of children agesÂ two to 11; and
- 24% of adults (Tong, Sacramento Bee, 9/17).
The study also found that adults who drink at least one non-diet soda daily are 27% more likely to be overweight than those who consume soda less frequently (Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/17).
Harold Goldstein, executive director of CCPHA, said obesity costs Californians about $41 billion per year in health care costs and lost productivity (Fresno Bee, 9/16).
Proposed Tax on Sugary Beverages
On Wednesday, a group of prominent physicians, policymakers and researchers called for the government to impose a one-cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Their report appeared in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The authors estimate that taxing sodas, sports drinks and other sweetened beverages could generate $14.9 billion in the first year. The funds then could be used to fund health care initiatives (Neuman, New York Times, 9/17).
The group predicted that the tax would motivate consumers to reduce their caloric intake of sweetened beverages by at least 10%. Group members suggest that the measure also could help spur weight-loss among some populations (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/17).Although policymakers have considered introducing a sugared beverage tax to help fund national health care reform, the proposal faces significant opposition from some Congress members and the beverage industry (New York Times, 9/17). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.