Washington, D.C. – Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) called on California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez to abandoned his misguided proposal to levy a penny for every teaspoon of added sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages.

A wealth of academic research casts serious doubt on whether there is any link between soda and obesity. A review last year evaluated the evidence of 12 studies and found virtually no association between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and children’s weight.

“Sugar-sweetened beverages are no more fattening than any other food with calories,” said J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom. “It’s only the overconsumption of calories, whether from soda or other foods and drinks, that lead people to put on extra pounds. Soda is not a unique cause of obesity.”

A poll of 1,006 adults by the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) in the fall of 2009 found that two-thirds of Americans are opposed to taxing soda. When specifically asked whether they agreed or disagreed that “carbonated soft drinks should carry extra taxes in order to discourage their consumption,” 65% disagreed, while only 28% agreed.

“The tax code should not be used as a tool for social engineering. Nor should it be an instrument for penalizing individuals who make food choices that some people in government don’t like.” Wilson continued, “Senator Florez’s proposal only serves to fill the coffers in Sacramento, not trim Californians’ waistlines.”