AMA delegates reject soda tax, approve resolution to curb obesity

Tuesday, November 14th 2006, 6:53 pm
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) The American Medical Association on Tuesday decided against a proposal to call for taxes on soft drinks as a way to curb consumption of the sugar-laden beverages blamed for contributing to obesity.

``We don't want sugared soft drinks in schools. But a federal tax made a lot of people uncomfortable,'' said Dr. William Hamilton, a Salt Lake City anesthesiologist who attended the group's meeting at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

The AMA instead approved a proposal for a broader effort to fight obesity.

The American Beverage Association fought the tax proposal but issued a statement crediting the AMA with adopting ``a comprehensive approach to addressing the complex problem of obesity.''

Dr. Ron Davis, president-elect of the nation's most influential physicians lobbying group, insisted the idea of taxing soda was not dead. He said soft drinks now account for 7 percent of calories in the American diet, the No. 1 source of calories.

``The epidemic of obesity in the U.S. has been developing and growing for 30 years, and it's going to take decades to turn it around,'' he said.