Navigation Links
UIC receives $1 million grant to study 'fat taxes,' diet, obesity

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have received $1 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study the relationship between "fat taxes" and food consumption, diet quality and obesity.

The funding for the two-year project was made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The study will link state tax rates associated with restaurants and with specific sugar- and fat-laden foods and beverages (soda, candy, baked goods and chips) to individual survey data.

Using multiple data sets from a 10-year period -- 1997 through 2007 -- the researchers will determine if differential tax rates equate to differences in consumption, diet quality and body mass index, or BMI, for children, adolescents and adults.

The study will separately examine these relationships among low-income food stamp recipients and non-food stamp recipients.

Previous economic studies suggest that food prices do change consumption. However, the researchers want to determine if, for example, consumers will seek out another high-sugar drink such as Kool-Aid if, say, soda is too expensive. If they do, then a tax on soda may reduce soda consumption but will not necessarily reduce weight, improve diet quality, or reduce overall sugar intake.

"We want to know if this price sensitivity is just for a specific good, such as soda, or if it translates into changes in diet quality and weight outcomes," said Lisa Powell, senior research scientist at UIC's Institute for Health Research and Policy and principal investigator of the study. "It will help lay the foundation on the extent to which these taxes may be effective policy instruments to generate behavior change and potentially reduce obesity."

Current fat-tax rates are fairly low, ranging, for example, from 0 to 7 percent for soda.

Taxing soda is an easy target because it is clear there is not a lot of nutritional value, said Powell. But if you look at taxing all foods or beverages with a certain amount of sugar or fat, that might include a fortified cereal that could also be healthy.

"Defining healthy and unhealthy when there are many different components to food can be difficult," she said.

According to the researchers, the study is critical because Americans are increasingly consuming poor diets, which have contributed to a public health crisis with more than 17 percent of children and 32 percent of adults being obese.

Powell's co-investigators at UIC are Frank Chaloupka, distinguished professor of economics and director of the Health Policy Center; Carol Braunschweig, associate professor of human nutrition; Jamie Chriqui, senior research scientist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy; and Euna Han, health economist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy.


Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez
University of Illinois at Chicago

Related biology news :

1. Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research
2. Herr receives Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment
3. UCI receives $5M from Edwards Lifesciences
4. Yu receives research funding from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation
5. UGA Odum School of Ecology professor receives grant to study West Nile Virus in NYC
6. UC Riverside biologist receives prestigious MacArthur Fellowship
7. UC Irvine receives $2.18M to explore nano advancements in DNA sequencing
8. Penn biochemist receives NIH New Innovators Award
9. NYUs Center for Genomics & Systems Biology receives $4.4 million NSF grant
10. Einstein researcher receives NIH grant to explore epigenetic regulation of the human genome
11. Alaska graduate program in sustainability receives $3.2 million award
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/26/2016)... India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product ... and Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate ... solutions.      (Logo: ... to provide their customers enhanced security to access ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... BioCatch ™, the global ... the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger as CEO. ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time of significant ... of its platform at several of the world,s largest ... unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a winner of ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender ... das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals ... Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 ... evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal ... sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. ... whole genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , ... secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley ... up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, ... new facility. "SVB has been an incredible ... the services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offering new biological discoveries to the medical community, has ... and co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We ... provide us with the capital we need to meet ... funding will essentially provide us the runway to complete ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division ... tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing ... collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: