A Republican Illinois state senator apologized today for suggesting that parents of obese children should lose their standard $2,000 a year tax deduction. “It was a tongue-in-cheek comment taken out of context — and should not be taken seriously,” Illinois Sen. Shane Cultra said in a news release, reported on the St. Louis website StlToday
“I am sensitive to the need to reduce childhood obesity,” he said in the release. “But I don't believe a new tax on everyone who buys juice, soda and energy drinks will accomplish the goal. Parents have to take some responsibility."
Cultra made his comments on Tuesday while state senators were examining ways of reducing obesity in the state. It came on the same day that Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock was quoted in Men’s Health magazine as saying 1 out of 5 children in the state are considered obese.
“It's the parents' responsibility that they have obese kids," Cultra told the state Senate. "Take the tax deduction away for parents that have obese kids."
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