The mayor has spoken: No super-size sweetened drinks will be sold in New York City if he has his way, but most Americans oppose that idea.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65 percent of American adults oppose a law that would ban the sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 ounces. Just 24 percent favor a law like the one Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed as a way to fight obesity. Eleven percent (11 percent) are undecided about it.
There’s partisan disagreement on this question, however. Eighty percent (80 percent) of Republicans and 71 percent of those who are not affiliated with either of the major political parties oppose a ban on super-size drinks. Democrats are fairly evenly divided.
An even smaller number, 11 percent, think the government should ban the sale of all sugary drinks. Eighty-five percent (85 percent) oppose such a move.
Only nine percent (9 percent) believe the government has the constitutional authority to prevent people from buying sugary drinks. Eighty-five percent (85 percent) disagree.
Polling shows similarly low levels of support for imposing so-called “sin taxes” on soda and junk food.
The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted on May 31-June 1, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Bloomberg announced his proposed first-in-the-nation ban last week, and it is scheduled to go effect in New York City next March. His announcement drew headlines across the country. Seventy-four percent (74 percent) of Americans say they have followed recent news reports about bans on soda and other sweetened drinks, including 32 percent who are following very closely.
Most Americans also have said in past surveys that it is not the government’s job to determine what people eat and drink.
Women are more supportive than men of the ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, but the two overwhelmingly agree that the government does not have the constitutional authority to prevent people from buying the drinks.
Despite concerns Americans have about childhood obesity, adults with children living with them oppose a ban on super-size drinks even more than those who don’t have children in the home.
Americans under 40 look more favorably on a ban on all sugary drinks than older adults do. Government employees like that idea more than those who work for a private company.
But a sizable number of Americans across all demographic categories oppose such a ban and think the government lacks the authority to impose it.
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