Survey: L.A. County Residents Support Soda Tax To Curb Obesity
The majority of Los Angeles County residents support taxing sugary drinks and limiting junk food advertisements aimed at children in an effort to curb obesity, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health survey released Thursday, Reuters reports.
The survey comes as the California senate last week passed a measure to require warning labels on soda and other sweetened beverages (Chaussee, Reuters, 6/5).
SB 1000, by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel), aims to help address the diabetes epidemic in California, which is especially high among the state's Latinos and children. The warning label also would point out the increased risk of obesity and tooth decay associated with sugary drinks (Gorn, California Healthline, 5/30).
Survey Details, Findings
For the study, the county Department of Public Health analyzed a 2011 telephone survey of about 1,000 Los Angeles County adults.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they support a soda tax. In addition, the survey found that 75% of respondents said they support limiting junk food advertising.
Support for a soda tax and junk food advertising restrictions was highest among low-income residents, who typically have higher rates of obesity and diabetes, according to Reuters.
Paul Simon, head of chronic disease prevention for the county and lead study author, noted that soda tax opponents argue such measures "would discriminate against poorer people because they have less money." He added, "Nonetheless, we found in our study that there is more support among those groups."
Industry group CalBev dismissed the findings, saying, "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" (Reuters, 6/5).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.