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The Effects of Soft Drink Taxes on Child and Adolescent Consumption and Weight Outcomes

36 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2009  

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; Yale University - School of Public Health

David E. Frisvold

University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business - Department of Economics

Nathan Tefft

Bates College

Date Written: August 26, 2009

Abstract

Childhood and adolescent obesity is associated with serious lifetime health consequences and has seen a recent rapid increase in prevalence. Soft drink consumption has also expanded rapidly, so much so that soft drinks are currently the largest single contributors to energy intake. In this paper, we investigate the potential for soft drink taxes to combat rising levels of adolescent obesity through a reduction in consumption. Our results, based on state soft drink sales and excise tax information between 1988 and 2006 and the National Health Examination and Nutrition Survey, suggest that soft drink taxation, as currently practiced in the United States, leads to a moderate reduction in soft drink consumption by children and adolescents. However, we show that this reduction in soda consumption is completely offset by increases in consumption of other high calorie drinks.

Keywords: obesity, soft drink taxation

JEL Classification: I18, H75

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M. and Frisvold, David E. and Tefft, Nathan, The Effects of Soft Drink Taxes on Child and Adolescent Consumption and Weight Outcomes (August 26, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1464542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1464542

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

David E. Frisvold (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

21 E. Market St
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
319-335-0957 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/frisvold/

Nathan Tefft

Bates College ( email )

Lewiston, ME 04240
United States

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