SOURCE: California Center for Public Health Advocacy

California Center for Public Health Advocacy

April 19, 2010 21:00 ET

Majority of California Voters Support Soda Tax According to Field Research Poll

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - April 19, 2010) -  Even in the midst of the great recession, a solid majority of California voters support taxing sodas as a way to fund childhood obesity prevention programs in California, according to a Field Research Corporation Poll released today by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA).

In a telephone survey of 503 registered California voters conducted last month, 56 percent expressed support for a soda tax. The poll, taken while California and other states weigh the benefits of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, showed majority support in major regions of the state:

  • San Francisco Bay Area: 60 percent
  • Los Angeles County: 61 percent
  • Other Southern California Counties (including San Diego and Orange): 54 percent

The Central Valley was the only region in the state where less than a majority supported a soda tax (43 percent).

"These numbers probably would have been even higher if not for the current economic downturn," says Mark DiCamillo, senior vice president of Field Research Corporation. "Nevertheless, a soda tax has broad acceptance by the majority of Californians."

The most surprising finding was the level of support among low-income voters (families making less than $40,000 per year), with 60 percent voicing support for a soda tax. Latinos were similarly supportive, with 66 percent of Latino voters favoring a soda tax to address childhood obesity.

Californians were particularly supportive of funding strategies to address childhood obesity prevention in our schools. Providing healthier foods in schools and offering more active and enjoyable school physical education programs both garnered 84 percent support among those polled, trailed closely by ensuring that all schools and communities have clean drinking water (82 percent).

"Californians are deeply concerned about the health of children and are ready to take concrete steps to halt the obesity crisis in our state. They not only have specific ideas of what will make a difference, but are ready to support legislation to make that happen," says Dr. Harold Goldstein, CCPHA executive director.

Founded in 1945 by public opinion research pioneer Mervin Field, Field Research Corporation is one of the nation's oldest and most respected survey research organizations. CCPHA is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization leading efforts in California to understand and address the state's growing obesity crisis. For more information on this legislation, visit the CCPHA site at:

Contact Information

    Dr. Harold Goldstein
    CA Center for Public Health Advocacy
    (530) 297-6000 -or- (530) 400-9106
    Michael Miller
    Brown-Miller Communications
    (800) 710-9333