Poll: Most people against restricting, taxing unhealthy foods

According to a poll of more than 1,000 people by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, people are split on how much the government should be involved to solve the obesity epidemic.

January 7, 2013

According to a poll of more than 1,000 people by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, people are split on how much the government should be involved to solve the obesity epidemic. A third of people say the government should be deeply involved in finding solutions to the epidemic, while a similar proportion want it to play little or no role.

Eight in 10 support requiring more physical activity in school or providing nutritional guidelines to help people make better choices. In fact, 70% thinks it’s good that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making restaurants post calorie counts on their menus.

However, nearly 6 in 10 people surveyed oppose taxes targeting unhealthy foods, known as soda taxes or fat taxes. And when it comes to restricting what people can buy—like New York City’s recent ban of supersized sodas in restaurants—three-quarters are against. Despite the severity of the problem, most of those surveyed say dealing with obesity is up to individuals. Just one third consider obesity a community problem that governments, schools, healthcare providers, and the food industry should be involved in. Twelve percent said it will take work from both individuals and the community.

AP article

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