From Your Health Journal…..”A great article in The Standard-Examiner written by Tom Kisken entitled Push on for soda tax in Calif. We discussed here a few times how Mayor Bloomberg of New York City wanted a soda tax as well as limiting the size of drinks sold – in an effort to reduce obesity. It has gotten some praise and some criticism. Some think government has no place in controlling what food we consume. Others feel the government has to take some control to keep its citizens healthy – as healthcare costs will skyrocket from obesity related illness such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and weaker joints. Now, a similar situation is brewing in California, although nearly 67 percent of voters in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Richmond rejected a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in November. Residents of El Monte in Los Angeles County turned down a similar tax; 77 percent said no. It is going to be interested to see how this ends up, but please visit the Standard-Examiner web site (link provided below to read the complete article.”
From the article…..
A soda tax? Michael Staitman mulled it over as he stood gazing at coolers stacked with Dad’s, Dr. Brown’s and something orange-lemon called Dog Drool at a soda shop in Ventura, Calif.
Health care advocates say a tax on sweetened drinks is the way to cap childhood obesity. Staitman, a 52-year-old Army veterinarian, sees the specter of paying 12 cents more for a bottle of root beer one more example of government trying to fix mistakes made at home.
“I’m happy to pay for schools,” he said. “But I’m not going to pay for fat kids.”
Nearly 67 percent of voters in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Richmond rejected a penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in November. Residents of El Monte in Los Angeles County turned down a similar tax; 77 percent said no. At least two state bills for a soda tax fizzled in committee. Another proposal was introduced by Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, on Feb. 22.
But a Field Poll survey from February brings hope to health care advocates who cite reports suggesting sugar-sweetened beverages are leading contributors to the obesity crisis. People in the poll were not initially receptive. Only 40 percent said they would support a soda tax but that rose to 68 percent if proceeds were to be used to improve school nutrition and physical activity.
“I think people are recognizing more and more the burden obesity places on society,” said Dr. George Flores of the California Endowment, a private health foundation that funded the study. “Maybe we have momentum.”
Advocates worry a statewide ballot measure would face challenges, because of the lobbying power of the beverage industry and the difficulty of convincing voters the money would be spent fighting obesity. Instead, they’re pressing for local communities to take up their cause and pass their own taxes.
To read the full article…..Click here