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Talk back: Should California pass a soda tax?

April 25, 2013|By Samantha Schaefer

Should the state play a role in preventing obesity among its residents?

State Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) has introduced legislation that would levy a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, including sodas, as part of an effort to fight obesity among young people, The Times' Patrick McGreevy reported.

The measure is meant to discourage people from consuming sweetened drinks, and the money collected would pay for a statewide childhood obesity prevention program through Children's Health Promotion Fund.

The legislation was condemned Monday by the food-industry backed Center for Consumer Freedom, which said the levy will not slim down consumers.

The debate over what role, if any, the government should play in slowing the obesity epidemic has played out across the country.

In March, a judge blocked New York City's ban on super-sized sweetened drinks. The rules would have limited the size of the drinks to 16 ounces in city establishments, but it would not have prevented consumers from buying more than one drink to satisfy cravings for super-sized sodas.

El Monte voters sharply rejected a soda tax on the November ballot, which would have charged a 1-cent tax for every ounce of sugary drink sold within the San Gabriel Valley city.

Should California tax sugary drinks? Would such a measure help prevent obesity or would soda-drinkers get their fix anyway? 

Weigh in by tweeting @LANow or let us know your stance in the comments below.

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Twitter: @Sam_Schaefer

samantha.schaefer@latimes.com

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