Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Americans Think They Should Be Allowed to Buy Foods with Trans Fats and Caffeinated Energy Drinks


CNN reports that trans fat intake among American consumers has decreased from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012. Moreover, the Grocery Manufacturers Associations has stated "Since 2005, food manufacturers have voluntarily lowered the amounts of trans fats in their food products by over 73%." Despite voluntary action to reduce trans fat intake, the FDA still thinks government intervention is needed.

However, latest Reason-Rupe poll finds 71 percent of Americans think the government should allow people to buy foods with trans fats, if they so choose. Less than a quarter, 24 percent, believe the government should prohibit people from buying these types of foods.

Independents who lean Republican are the most likely to say trans fats should be allowed (82 percent) compared to 66 percent of Democrats. Nevertheless, majorities of all political groups favor allowing trans fats, also including 67 percent of non-partisan independents, 76 percent of regular Republicans and 68 percent of independents who lean Democratic.

Reason-Rupe finds public opinion is similar on the sale of caffeinated energy drinks. Seventy-six percent of Americans say the government should allow people to purchase so-called energy drinks that also contain caffeine, while 21 percent want government to prohibit people from buying them.

Additionally, the February 2013 Reason-Rupe poll found that 71 percent of Americans think the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces in theaters, restaurants, and other venues should be allowed. This survey also asked whether caffeinated energy drinks should be allowed, but prefaced the question with a statement about purported concerns over the drinks' safety. In this instance, 59 percent of respondents said that caffeinated energy drinks should be allowed, while 26 percent disagreed.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted Dec 4-8 2013 interviewed 1011 adults on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.

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  1. 99% of politicians don’t give a shit.

    1. I think you’re being too generous. I’d go with 99.9999999%

  2. American’s think a lot of things. They can go pound sand.

    1. Yep. These really nifty polls ought to be aligning with voting preferences a-a-a-a-a-any minute now….

      Yep, you just wait and see….

      Here it comes…

      Almost there…

  3. I’ll buy whatever the fuck I want and eat whatever the fuck I want, just like I take whatever drugs I want. The government can go fuck itself; it’s not hard to avoid its enforcers.

    1. (somewhere in a government bunker)


      Dissent detected. Free will being exercised.

      Drone released.

      Hide now, motherfucker.

      1. Have fun finding me.

        (releases global virus that causes all computers to only play Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on permanent loop)

        1. I don’t want to find you. The government does.

          If I wanted to find you, I’d go to Warty’s basement and untie you.

  4. Who the fuck thinks that people should be forbidden from buying food with trans fats? I can imagine someone wanting food producers to be prohibited from selling food with artificial trans fats (though that is stupid too). I guess there are a lot of people out there who want to be controlled.

    1. I guess there are a lot of people out there who want other people to be controlled.

      “Less untruthful.”

  5. I really wish I had been awake during the Libertarian Moment. It must have been swell.

  6. Americans Think They Should Be Allowed to Buy Foods with Trans Fats and Caffeinated Energy Drinks

    Those crazy, na?ve, silly Americans.

  7. Are you saying that a quarter of Americans are retarded?

    Yes, a quarter of Americans are retarded.

  8. “allowed” What. The. Fuck.

  9. “allowed” What. The. Fuck.

  10. Thank god we have government to rein in our wanton lust for things that are unhealthy for us.

    I don’t trust polls. I bet if the HuffPo had a poll about this same topic, the number of people who think transfats and energy drinks should be legal would only be in the single digits.

    1. I don’t trust polls either. As a previous Reason article showed, phrasing matters. A lot.

      Also, anyone who says “numbers don’t lie” obviously doesn’t understand math beyond an elementary level.

  11. Technically speaking the government doesn`t prohibit people buying these things but the manufacture of them so technically speaking a transfat ban is reflecting the will of the people!

  12. I went to today to comment on the proposed ban. The site said there were 1371 comments, but for some reason I could only see 87 of them. Sadly, of those, I think I found two that opposed the ban, plus a few extension requests from food producers. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the ban crowd is better at making its voice heard.

  13. To many, this is just more proof that the vast unwashed horde called “Americans” think the wrong things.

    While there’s no cute “Godwin” type name for it, it is invariable that in any thread on some progressive issue, some very self-righteous Prog will confidently announce that any information that contradicts or runs afoul of their right-thinking policy recommendations is, “Just another example of how ignorant, illiterate, and deluded most Americans are”

    I always find this idea of Progressive Exceptionalism remarkable. The Truths to them are ‘obvious’ – and those who fail to grasp them are some combination of Willfully Ignorant & Misinformed. That they can say this so often, and yet still confidently describe themselves as “tolerant and open minded” in the same breath is their very hallmark. At least proper “bigots” or “ideologues” don’t bother pretending they come to their beliefs after sane and sober reflection on all possible alternatives.

  14. A more illuminating question would have been:

    “Do you think the government should be allowed to prohibit people buying caffeinated energy drinks, or foods with trans fats?”

  15. Roll taht beautiful bean footage!

  16. Interesting study. Americans don’t want the government to tell them what they can and can’t eat. Yet overweight, unhealthy Americans affect healthcare costs. Both sides of this argument have valid points.

    1. Like hell they do. I don’t lose my rights just because they affect you in some indirect manner.

      1. gagster, if you are in front of me at mcdonalds and you order the last big mac they have in stock, then i cant buy it.

        i have a basic human right for you to not order it. dont tread on me.

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