142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Viewpoints and values in the debate over taxing sugar-sweetened beverages

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Juliana van Olphen, PhD, MPH , Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Nancy Carmona , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Joey Frazzio , Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Connie Tu , Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Per capita consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent decades, and evidence suggests that intake of these beverages has increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In recent years, proposals to increase the cost of SSB through excise taxes have generated significant attention. However, such measures are controversial and voters recently opposed such initiatives on the ballots in Richmond and El Monte, CA. New proposals (such as those in San Francisco and Berkeley) continue to attract attention from those with different perspectives. Common objections to these initiatives are that such taxes are regressive (they disproportionately impact the poor), unfair (increasing costs for everyone), and indicators of an overly controlling ‘nanny’ state. This presentation uses data from a content analysis of public comments in online forums where readers can comment on articles and news topics. Searches using relevant keywords were conducted using databases such as ProQuest Newsstand and LexisNexis Academic to find U.S. news media related to the taxation of SSB during the period 2009-2013. Internet searches were conducted to verify that no media had been missed. Only those articles with interactive options for reader comments were included. A codebook was developed and reader comments and interactions were organized, coded, and analyzed using NVIVO. Findings highlight important differences in values related to individual vs. governmental responsibility and the social and health impacts of SSB tax initiatives. Understanding the values on different sides of this debate is critical to the success of campaigns to tax sugar-sweetened beverages. Strategies to increase support for such initiatives are suggested.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe public perspectives regarding sugar-sweetened beverage tax initiatives. Describe underlying values regarding choice, responsibility and consequences related to taxing sugar-sweetened beverage. Identify effective strategies to counter public opposition to sugar-sweetened beverage taxation.

Keyword(s): Regulations, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived of and have done all of the work related to this project. Other research areas: community-based participatory research addressing the health impacts of incarceration, with a particular focus on changing policies that harm the community integration of women returning home from jail, and the health consequence of alcohol and other drug use among college students.
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.