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Californians Support 'Soda Tax' if Proceeds go Toward Improving Kids' Health: Survey

Update Date: Feb 15, 2013 07:37 AM EST
sugary drinks, soda, obesity,
The proposed label would read, "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay." (Photo : REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

About 75 percent of Californians believe that regularly drinking sodas like Coke, Pepsi and Mountain Dew can increase a person's chances of being overweight, and two-thirds of the voters say that they'd support soda tax if the proceeds go for improving kids' health at school, according to results from Field Poll announced on Thursday.

There were, however, a few Californians who saw that energy drinks can also lead to weight gain, with just 42 percent voters thinking that Red Bull, Rockstar or Monster increases a person's chances of being overweight.

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On Wednesday, The Center for Science in the Public Interest had announced that it has urged the FDA to keep a check over the amount of sugar and other sweeteners that are added in sodas. CSPI's petition has been penned by many scientists, who consider sodas are unhealthy if consumed regularly.

Among the voters in the present poll, just 40 percent initially supported the tax on soda. However, support for the soda tax increased (68 percent) after voters were told that the proceeds would go toward helping kids get access to more healthy food and physical activity programs at school.

Voters also reported that they support policies that encourage healthy eating, like introducing stands for fresh food in low-income areas, building community gardens in vacant sites and attracting more farmers markets.

About eight out of every 10 voters also said that they support facilities that would improve the health of their community, like providing more funds for improving school's athletic fields, physical education playgrounds, etc.

The poll was conducted by The Field Poll over telephone and included more than 1,000 California-registered voters.

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