Washington, DC – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) Called on New York Governor David Paterson to abandon his regressive and intellectually dishonest tax on soda saying that these taxes are a form of social engineering and unfairly burden those with lower incomes. Moreover, these kinds of taxes do nothing to address the problem of obesity.

“Not only is soda being unfairly singled out in Paterson’s tax plan, but a tax on non-diet soda will do nothing to reduce obesity rates,” said Center for Consumer Freedom senior research analyst, J. Justin Wilson. “So-called ‘sin taxes’ are feel-good solutions that are more about reducing the size of budgets, not butts. Only an increased emphasis on physical activity will make New Yorkers more fit and healthy.”

CCF has previously released a report titled, “Why Soda Bans Don’t Fight Childhood Obesity,” which illustrates soda’s non-existent impact on kids’ weight.

Citing a wide array of peer-reviewed health, exercise, and nutrition research, the Center’s report disputes the widely held notion that soda is a cause of obesity, and instead shows that physical inactivity is the single largest contributor to obesity among children.

While the amount of calories kids eat and drink hasn’t appreciably changed in decades, physical activity rates have plummeted. In fact, only one U.S. state requires daily physical education classes school-wide. (New York does not.)

A 2005 study published in the British medical journal The Lancet showed just how damaging this lack of activity is. The authors found that among adolescent girls, “the drastic decline in habitual activity during adolescence might be a major factor in the doubling of the rate of obesity…in the past two decades, since no concomitant increase in energy intake was apparent.”

Wilson added, “Taxes like this one are a distraction that won’t address the real problem facing overweight Americans -¬ an epidemic of inactivity. We’re calling on Governor Paterson to abandon this tax altogether. If he refuses, then at the very least he should pledge that all revenues raised from his soda tax will go toward programs that encourage physical activity.”

To  arrange an interview, please call Sarah Longwell at (202) 463-7112.