Obesity in the United States is a public concern with the percentage of overweight people being among the highest in the world. Soda consumption has been noted as a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic and medical costs related to obesity are about $147 billion a year. In 1994 the soda tax idea was introduced by Kelly D. Brownell, Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. In 2009, 33 US states had a sales tax on soft drinks. France introduced a tax on soft drinks in 2012.