Voters support soda tax if money goes to fight obesity

California voters oppose the idea of taxing sugary sodas unless proceeds of the tax are used to improve school nutrition and physical activity programs, a new polls has found.

The survey found that voters oppose such a tax by a margin of 53 percent to 40 percent when they are first asked their opinion. But when told the money raised would go to fight childhood obesity, voters take a dramatically different view, supporting the idea by a margin of 68 percent to 29 percent. Latinos, Asian Americas and African Americans support it in higher numbers than whites.

Three in four voters say they believe that regularly drinking sugary sodas increases a person’s chance of becoming overweight or obese. But fewer — only 42 percent — say the same thing about energy drinks.

The survey of 1,184 registered votes was conducted by the Field Poll on behalf of the California Endowment.

For the full poll results, click here.

Note: The California Endowment is also a sponsor of

–Daniel Weintraub

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