On the endangered list in: San Francisco
In December, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom proposed a tax on sodas containing high-fructose corn syrup, in an effort to curb rising obesity rates. (According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.) A 2005 CDC study found that 10% of San Francisco high school students were overweight, with another 13% at risk for becoming overweight.
The proposed taxes would apply only to big-box stores, with revenue going to the city's "Shape Up San Francisco" anti-obesity initiative.
Even though the tax wouldn't apply to his small grocery store, Greg Markoulakis, who co-owns the Mayflower Market with his wife, Sophia, doesn't think it's a good idea. He calls the proposal "misguided," saying it wouldn't hurt his business but also wouldn't change consumer behavior.
"I understand the reasoning behind it, but I don't see how a tax would stop obesity," he says.