Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Not a 'Holy Grail' But a Cup at Least Half; Comment on 'Food Taxes: A New Holy Grail?'
Harvard Medical School
Walter C. Willett
Harvard University - Department of Nutrition
November 10, 2013
International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 2013, 1(2), 183–185
In this commentary, we argue for the implementation of a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax as a tool to help address the global obesity and diabetes epidemics. Consumption of SSBs has increased exponentially over the last several decades, a trend that has been an important contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Prior evidence demonstrates that a SSB tax will likely decrease SSB consumption without significantly increasing consumption of other unhealthy food or beverages. Further, this tax is unlikely to have effects on income inequality and should not contribute to weight-based discrimination. A SSB tax also should raise revenue for government entities that already pay, through health care expenditures and health programs, for the consequences of excess SSB consumption.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3
Keywords: Sugar-Sweetened Beverages; Tax; Economics; Obesity; Overweight
Date posted: November 11, 2013