The purpose of this project is to understand public debates regarding proposed local soda taxes based on experiences during 2012 in the cities of Richmond and El Monte, California, so that future ballot initiatives might better anticipate what to expect when sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes are presented to local voters. News media content and online comments on articles and in blogs surrounding the public debate about the proposed SSB tax in these two cities from within the state of California and nationally will be gathered and analyzed. This will include content and discourse related to the health impact of sugary drinks and the role of government in protecting the public’s health. A coding instrument to be used to code all content will be developed. The coded content will be analyzed to establish the frequency of various arguments and spokespeople (e.g., elected officials, industry-funded community groups, public health practitioners, religious leaders, youth and adult residents) as they are quoted in news stories, on blogs, or espoused online in comments. The final report will include a quantitative accounting of which arguments appeared in various news sources as well as a qualitative analysis of how those arguments were expressed.
Soda Tax Debates in California: How Were They Framed?
Big Soda’s Long Shadow: News Coverage of Local Proposals to Tax Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Richmond, El Monte and Telluride
Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been identified as a key policy lever to reduce consumption of sugary drinks and to fund nutrition and physical activity programs. This paper analyzes news coverage of three SSB tax proposals in Richmond and El Monte, Calif., and Telluride, Colo., in 2012 and 2013. Although … More
In 2012, the California cities Richmond and El Monte asked voters to consider a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). The measures appeared on the ballot alongside companion advisory policies that proposed earmarking revenue from the tax for youth obesity prevention programs and, in El Monte, for other city services … More
Stories of Success: A Qualitative Examination of Contributors to Excellence in School Drinking Water Access
Drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar can help prevent obesity and cavities and promote overall health. Children spend much of their day in school, where they have variable access to drinking water. In 2010, federal and state law required California public schools to provide free potable water to … More