Don't tax fast-food, soft drinks: poll

by Bryan Salvage
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NEW YORK — Cities and states throughout he U.S. have been considering taxing both soft drinks and fast-food as one way to deter obesity. Although certain groups may be in favor of imposing this "obesity tax," consumers, in general, are not. More than half of Americans (56%) are opposed to this tax going into effect with two in five (42%) being strongly opposed. Three in 10 (31%) support this tax being imposed.

These findings are among others found in a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll, survey of 2,140 U.S. adults surveyed online April 23-27 by Harris Interactive.

People who live in the East are the most supportive of the tax on soft drinks and fast-food with 42% supporting it and just half opposing it, followed by those in the West where 35% support it and 53% oppose the "obesity tax." But just one-quarter of those who live in the South (25%) support the tax while three in five (61%) oppose it. Midwesterners are not that different from those in the South, as 28% of them support the "obesity tax" and 57% oppose it.

The youngest U.S. adults are those most likely to support the tax on soft drinks and fast-food. Two in five respondents aged 18-34 (41%) support this tax and 42% oppose it, but 17% are not at all sure. Baby Boomers are most opposed as two-thirds of those aged 45-54 (68%) oppose this tax while only 24% support it.

Just one-quarter of those with a household income between $35,000 and $49,999 (25%) and under $35,000 (27%) support this tax compared to two in five of those with a household income of $75,000 a year or more (39%).

More educated people are more likely to support a tax on fast-food and soft drinks. One-quarter of those with a high school education or less (24%) support the "obesity tax" compared to 34% of those who have attended some college and 41% of those with at least a college degree.
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