Most U.S. adults aren’t sweet on the idea of soda and candy taxes, and many doubt the bigger price tags would trim the national waistline.
That’s the finding of a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll released Thursday. In the online survey of more than 2,100 adults, respondents were opposed to government taxes on sugary drinks and candy by a more than 2-to-1 margin.
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Between 56 percent and 58 percent said no to such taxes, while only 21 to 23 percent were in favor.
“This is a strong vote against the ‘nanny state,’” said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll.
“The idea of taxing calorie-rich candies and sodas may be popular with some public health advocates, who see them as major causes of the nation’s obesity epidemic, but it is very unpopular with the public,” Taylor said.
The poll results come at a time of rising debate over the potential health impact of taxing “junk food.” Many U.S. states do have sales taxes on soda, but they are small — and not aimed at driving down Americans’ thirst for sugary drinks, said Kelly Brownell, a professor of psychology at Yale University and co-founder of the school’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.