Supe Who Proposed Soda Tax Calls For Hearing On SF’s $500 Million Diabetes Crisis

Type 2 diabetes and its effect on San Francisco residents will be the topic of a hearing requested Tuesday by a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, a co-sponsor of a proposed ballot measure that would impose a tax on sodas and other sugary beverages sold in San Francisco, said those drinks are “a major cause of the explosion of type 2 diabetes” in the city and nationally.

The hearing, which will take place at a board committee meeting, will focus on the causes, prevalence and impacts of type 2 diabetes on San Francisco, particularly on the city’s children.

“It will be very helpful in shedding light on the actual science … underlying the growth of type 2 diabetes,” Wiener said.

The city’s budget and legislative analyst has estimated diabetes costs San Francisco residents more than $500 million annually, according to Wiener’s office.

Wiener and other supervisors have proposed for the November ballot a 2 cents-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugary beverages, with the proceeds going toward city and school nutrition and physical activity programs.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • neutral_corner

    I’m all for supporting programs that encourage good eating and consumption habits among city youth, but San Francisco runs on an annual budget of $8 Billion already. I don’t have any grip on what we’re buying with our $8 Billion, but the idea of _another_ fee passed on to city consumers is kind of a non-starter with me, particularly when it’s passed in the interests of “social engineering through indirect taxation.”

    The only thing more offensive than a supe trying to burnish his progressive credentials toward the rather obvious goal of his future ascendency in the local Democratic political machine is “Big Soda’s” astroturf campaign to fight it in the name of keeping San Francisco “affordable.”

    • njudah

      I saw that mailer and was kinda blown away by it. I mean, wtf?

      • neutral_corner

        Voter registration has brought me nothing but jury duty and junk mail.

        • njudah

          what’s really bad is that during election time there’s MORE and more of this junk mail and it’s getting worse and worse. (This said as someone who used to produce said crap once upon a time).

          Although I will say this: I know the guys who are doing the soda tax and they are a force to be reckoned with. Their win record is pretty good…although given that soda sales are dropping anyway, without a tax, this one may be tougher than others.

          • neutral_corner

            I’m an unabashed fan of Scott’s but this just feels like one-ups-manship with Eric Mar.

            Also, be sure to tear out the postage-paid post card from the mailer and toss it into the mailbox with fake contact information. There’s no reason that this should go unpunished. Let ‘em eat the postage and waste time sending volunteer information to Seymour Butts.

          • njudah

            LOL “seymour butts”

            I get a lot of fundraising mail for the right sent to my late father and if there’s a reply card or whatever, I mail it back full of shredded junk mail. At least they often send real dollar bills, which I use as part of a cash tip to our Local Bartenders.

    • SFGuy

      Many progressives are not supporting the tax because it is viewed as regressive and too broad.

  • njudah

    If they really want to help get kids off the crappy food, why don’t they start by making their school lunches out of actual food, and not crapola.

    This is an older link ,but it bears repeating since certain politicans pontificate on this, and yet during their tenure at SFSD, they were selling crap to students. Even at Lowell:

    http://www.gregdewar.com/2010/08/attack_happy_meals_fine_but_wh.html

  • MaureenABA

    The reality is sugar-sweetened beverage taxes will fail to deliver on their promise to help health and combat specific conditions. Why? Because complex public health challenges such as diabetes do not boil down to a single food, beverage or ingredient. Rather myriad factors contribute – such as genetics, inactivity, overall diet, and more. Therefore, it is misguided and inaccurate to suggest a tax is a productive means of changing health behaviors.

    As the nation’s leading authorities on diabetes treatment and prevention say, millions of people can avoid or delay Type 2 diabetes by losing weight through diet and exercise. Education, not regulation, is capable of teaching this balance and spurring important changes in health behaviors. – Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association