SF Supes Call Town Meeting To Talk About Sugary Beverage Tax

Four San Francisco supervisors are holding a community meeting this evening to gather public input on a proposed tax on sugary drinks.

The meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. at 1800 Oakdale Ave., is being hosted by Supervisors Malia Cohen, Scott Wiener, Eric Mar and John Avalos.

The supervisors have proposed putting a tax on the November ballot that would add two cents per ounce for sodas and other sugary drinks sold in San Francisco. Two-thirds of voters would have to approve the measure for it to take effect.

Revenue from the tax would fund nutrition, physical activity and health programs in public schools and parks, and also go toward increasing access to healthy food in underserved neighborhoods.

Proponents say the measure is necessary to combat health problems like obesity and diabetes, while opponents—including the beverage industry group Californians for Food and Beverage Choice—say it is a regressive tax that would raise costs of living without improving community health.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • MaureenABA

    We agree that this policy represents a “regressive tax that would raise costs of living without improving community health.” For these reasons similar taxes were soundly defeated in El Monte and Richmond, as well as in the State Senate.

    The reality is that no one food, beverage or ingredient uniquely causes obesity, or other similarly complex public health challenges. Many factors contribute, including inactivity, genetics, age, medicine, and overall diet. With this, science shows that, among the factors we can control, we can balance calories from all sources with physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Therefore, singling out one category of calories is, frankly, wholly unproductive.

    Education, not regulation, can make a positive difference in changing consumer habits and lifestyles for the long-term, however.