Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Attack of the snack tax


obesityA worsening obesity epidemic and lingering recession have state and local governments scrambling for new streams of revenue — including taxes on soda and other sugary beverages.

That’s potentially bad news for the nation’s food and beverage industries, which are on the defensive as the battle rages behind the scenes.

If you watch TV, you’ve probably seen this ad from American Against Food Taxes, which is backed by the likes of McDonald’s and PepsiCo.

Nearly three dozen states already charge tax on sugary beverages. But, in most cases the tax is not high enough to curb consumption, said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center For Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and author of “Food Fight.”