This paper assessed public opinion about arguments commonly used in debates over taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and found greater public agreement with anti- than pro-tax arguments. A majority of respondents agreed with anti-SSB tax arguments that such taxes are: arbitrary because they do not affect consumption of other unhealthy foods (60%); a quick way for politicians to fill budget holes (58%); an unacceptable intrusion of government into people’s lives (53.8%); opposed by most Americans (53%); and harmful to the poor (51%). No pro-tax argument was endorsed by a majority of respondents. Democrats were more likely to agree with pro-tax arguments and less likely to agree with anti-tax arguments than Republicans and Independents.
Published: February 2013
ID #: 69173
Journal: Am J Prev Med
Authors: Barry CL, Niederdeppe J, Gollust SE
Strategic Messaging to Promote Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Lessons from Recent Political CampaignsStrategic messaging is used to emphasize certain aspects of issues in policy debates, shaping public views and policy-making processes. This paper explores the use of strategic messaging by proponents of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxation to influence public opinion, emphasizing the experiences in El Monte and Richmond, Calif., where SSB tax proposals were voted on in More