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As obesity rates rise, cities declare war on sugar

A report says more than 40 percent of women and 35 percent of men are obese based on their body mass
Multiple cities look to decrease sugary drink intake 02:06

There's no delicate way to put this -- America's getting fatter. And women have taken the lead.

A report Tuesday says more than 40 percent of women are obese, which is based on body mass. On the other hand, 35 percent of men are obese.

Will food label makeover encourage healthy eating? 04:09

Many experts have identified sugar as the enemy, and some cities are declaring war.

Across the country the obesity epidemic is on the rise. In the city of Baltimore, one out of three kids is obese or overweight.

"Here in Baltimore city it is our duty to make sure that parents have the most accurate information to make the best choices for their kids," said city heath commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

It's not the first time the soda industry has been targeted. In July, San Francisco will be the first to require health warnings on advertisements for these drinks. In 2014, Berkeley, California, became the only city to impose a 1 cent an ounce sugar tax.

Philadelphia wants to go even further. Mayor Jim Kenney is proposing taxing soda at three cents an ounce.

"They have been selling a product for generation that made them multi-billionaires. We just want a little piece of it back," he said.

The plan says the city could raise $400 million in the course of five years. Where would that money go?

"That money would go to expanded quality pre-k for about 8 to 10,000 kids in our city for the next four years," said Kenney.

The American Beverage Association has spent more than $3 million fighting the Philadelphia sugar tax. They say this bill will cost jobs and unfairly impact low income families.

Ellen Valentino is an executive vice president of the Maryland Beverage Association.

"The beverage companies are taking the lead on educating the public," she said. "You have calorie counts at the tip of your fingers so do we need government mandates do we need bans and restrictions on popular products we don't."

Illinois is now also considering a similar tax to offset state debts. It's worth mentioning that soda consumption is at a 30 year low.

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