258389 Assessing Support for Taxing Sugar Sweetened Beverages in Hawaii

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Jay Maddock, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Bronwyn Sinclair, MPH , Healthy Hawaii Initiative, Hawaii State Department of Health, Honolulu, HI
Katie Richards, MPH , Healthy Hawaii Initative, Hawaii Department of Health, Honolulu, HI
Introduction: Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) has been gaining momentum as a potential method for addressing increases in obesity rates. SSB are leading source of added sugar in the American diet and have been linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Research estimates that a 10% increase in price could lead to an 8%-10% decrease in consumption. As of 2011, 15 states including Hawaii have introduced legislation to increase taxes on sugar sweetened beverages. Despite potential effects on reducing non-nutrient caloric consumption, many legislators have been reluctant to pass laws because of perceived consumer attitudes towards a new tax. The aim of this study is to assess the level of support for taxing SSB and an analysis of who is more likely to be supportive. Methos: A random digit dial survey was conducted among non-institutionalized adults living in Hawaii (n=1333) between October-December 2011. Results: Most of the respondents would either strongly support (41.3%) or support (24.3%) taxing SSB to provide funding for childhood obesity programs. Bivariate analysis indicated that support for a tax on SSB was higher among non- and infrequent soda drinkers, women, lower income households and younger people. A logistic regression found the strongest predictors were soda consumption (=2.4) and gender (=2.2). Age and income were still significant in the model. Conclusions: Results indicate that most adults in Hawaii favor a tax on SSB though support varies by soda consumption, gender, age and income. Education campaigns should focus on changing attitudes among men, high income and older adults.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to discuss the level of support for taxing suagar sweetened beverages in Hawaii. 2. Partipants will be able to explain factors related to supporting a tax for sugar sweetened beverages.

Keywords: Obesity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a tenured professor of public health and have been conducting obesity research for the past 12 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.