The sweetened beverage industry has spent millions to combat soda taxes and support medical groups that avoid blaming sugary drinks for health problems.
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Food assistance recipients spend about 10 percent of their food budget on sugary drinks, while the rest of the population spends about 7 percent.
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Over three years, a campaign urged Howard County, Md., residents to pare back on sugary drinks — through ads, social media, health counseling and changes to what vending machines sold. And it worked.
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Bottles of Fanta are displayed in a food truck's cooler in 2014 in San Francisco. The city is one of several in California that have a soda tax on the ballot this November.
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Khadija Sabir of Lovie Lee's Stars of Tomorrow preschool in Philadelphia attends a soda tax rally with three of her charges. The proposed tax promises to pay for universal pre-K, parks and recreation centers.