Nearly 3 out of 5 California voters support a special fee (also known as a tax) on soft drinks to help fight childhood obesity! That’s the finding of a new survey of 1,000 likely voters.

In a previous post, we talked about a wellness expert in Australia that was proposing a tax on high-fat foods to help combat the obesity trend in that country. Now, it seems that, in California at least, voters are willing to back similar proposals.

Childhood obesity is a significant and growing problem in this country, as well as other developed nations. We believe that it is an issue best addressed by society as a whole and not just pushed off on parents or the child as their problem alone. The costs to society, both in dollars and human suffering, justify a coordinated approach that includes children, families, schools, communities, food manufacturers and government.

The California study backs up this approach. The study found that voters almost unanimously believe kids and their families play an important role in addressing childhood obesity, but it’s important to note that the study also found nearly 3/4 of voters believe it’s shouldn’t be their problem alone. Schools and pediatricians have largely held this view for some time. It is great that the public is beginning to support this approach too.

Most industry analysis believe that a tax on soda and other sugary snack foods would have a significant effect on sales of these products. That’s the main reason that food manufacturers are fighting so hard to keep it from happening.

The costs are very low and the profit margins are very high on soda. The cost of producing the contents of a 12 ounce can of Coke is just 1 cent! Packaging adds another 5 cents. The cost paid by fast food restaurants like McDonald’s isn’t much more than that. No wonder they want you to “super size it!” Adding a few ounces to your soft drink costs them almost nothing!

So, is there merit to having a “fat tax” on sodas and other sugary drinks? We think that there is, but only if it is part of a larger effort to address childhood obesity. If, like in so many cases these days, the money from such a tax is “skimmed” off by local governments for other purposes, then much of the value is lost. Would you support a tax like this if the proceeds went to fight childhood obesity? Let us know.

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?
You may also want to read: Childhood Obesity: The Role of School Vending Machines, Eat Right: Should There Be a “Fat Tax?”

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