Majority of California Voters Support Soda Tax According to Field Research Poll

Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:00pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Even in the midst of the great recession, a solid majority of California
voters support taxing sodas as a way to fund childhood obesity prevention
programs in California, according to a Field Research Corporation Poll
released today by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy

    In a telephone survey of 503 registered California voters conducted last
month, 56 percent expressed support for a soda tax. The poll, taken while
California and other states weigh the benefits of a tax on
sugar-sweetened beverages, showed majority support in major regions of
the state:

--  San Francisco Bay Area: 60 percent
--  Los Angeles County: 61 percent
--  Other Southern California Counties (including San Diego and Orange):
    54 percent


The Central Valley was the only region in the state where less than
a majority supported a soda tax (43 percent). 

    "These numbers probably would have been even higher if not for the
current economic downturn," says Mark DiCamillo, senior vice president of
Field Research Corporation. "Nevertheless, a soda tax has broad
acceptance by the majority of Californians."

    The most surprising finding was the level of support among low-income
voters (families making less than $40,000 per year), with 60 percent
voicing support for a soda tax. Latinos were similarly supportive, with
66 percent of Latino voters favoring a soda tax to address childhood

    Californians were particularly supportive of funding strategies to
address childhood obesity prevention in our schools. Providing healthier
foods in schools and offering more active and enjoyable school physical
education programs both garnered 84 percent support among those polled,
trailed closely by ensuring that all schools and communities have clean
drinking water (82 percent).

    "Californians are deeply concerned about the health of children and are
ready to take concrete steps to halt the obesity crisis in our state.
They not only have specific ideas of what will make a difference, but are
ready to support legislation to make that happen," says Dr. Harold
Goldstein, CCPHA executive director.

    Founded in 1945 by public opinion research pioneer Mervin Field, Field
Research Corporation is one of the nation's oldest and most respected
survey research organizations. CCPHA is an independent, nonpartisan,
nonprofit organization leading efforts in California to understand and
address the state's growing obesity crisis. For more information on this
legislation, visit the CCPHA site at:


Dr. Harold Goldstein
CA Center for Public Health Advocacy
(530) 297-6000 -or- (530) 400-9106
Michael Miller
Brown-Miller Communications
(800) 710-9333 

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