Navigation Links
Can soda tax curb obesity?
Date:6/28/2011

EVANSTON, Ill. --- To many, a tax on soda is a no-brainer in advancing the nation's war on obesity. Advocates point to a number of studies in recent years that conclude that sugary drinks have a lot to do with why Americans are getting fatter.

But obese people tend to drink diet sodas, and therefore taxing soft drinks with added sugar or other sweeteners is not a good weapon in combating obesity, according to a new Northwestern University study.

An amendment to Illinois Senate Bill 396 would add a penny an ounce to the cost of most soft drinks with added sugar or sweeteners, including soda, sweet iced tea and coffee drinks. Related to the purpose of the tax, the legislation excludes artificially sweetened and diet sodas.

"After doing the analysis, it really turns out to be the case that obese people like diet soda so much more than regular soda that you can do whatever you want to the price," said Ketan Patel, a fourth-year doctoral student in economics. "You're not going to get that much change in obese people's weight because they already drink diet soda."

Patel, who recently presented his paper "The Effectiveness of Food Taxes at Affecting Consumption in the Obese: Evaluating Soda Taxes" at a U.S. Department of Agriculture conference on food policy in Washington, D.C., said he initially didn't know if the diet soda preference was going to be a large factor in evaluating the effectiveness of the soda tax.

"The concern I had was that maybe obese people are less price sensitive," Patel said. "So if obese people are less price sensitive, then raising the price through a tax will affect their behavior less."

But that concern became irrelevant since diet drinks are not being considered in the proposed obesity tax.

Beyond its ineffectiveness in reducing obesity, such a tax also would punish consumers that are not overweight or obese, Patel said.

Is there a scenario in which increasing the tax would have an effect on weight? Patel said that could depend on whether people are at a stable weight or whether people are already eating too many calories and therefore their weight will continue to increase. If increasing weights are the status quo, then a tax could prevent people who are currently overweight or normal weight from becoming obese. More research needs to be done on this aspect, however, Patel said.

For this study, Patel used a large data set of sodas price and sales data with individual level data on demographic characteristics and body mass index (BMI) to estimate consumer preferences while allowing for substantial diversity in those preferences. After obtaining estimates of consumer preferences, Patel simulated how a tax would change the choices that consumers make and used the results of the simulation to estimate changes in weight using a weight change model from existing nutrition literature.

In the meantime, however, lawmakers say it does not look likely that the tax will be imposed anytime soon as there is little support for the measure after a recent income tax hike in Illinois.


'/>"/>

Contact: Hilary Hurd Anyaso
h-anyaso@northwestern.edu
847-491-4887
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Which comes first: Exercise-induced asthma or obesity?
2. Are the Religious Prone to Obesity?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... SC (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... Digital ... is excited to announce the opening of a Greenville, South Carolina location. ... for digital progress in Greenville. , “We’ve been working with South Carolina clients for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... The iaedp Foundation, ... other medical professionals caring for those suffering from the full spectrum of disordered eating, ... as eating disorders professionals from nearly all 50 states and several countries converged on ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) wanted to create a communications platform that positions them ... this goal, Elliance and ONS reinvented their online publication as an always-on, always-fresh ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... Viewers who like ... of critical historical facts, cultural practices, goods, services, and societal issues tend to appreciate ... look into the popular practice of utilizing running events for causes around the world. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “Finding ... God #TruthwithGrace”: a devotional journal chronicling the writer’s path toward true communion with ... Walk with God #TruthwithGrace” is the creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... YORK , March 24, 2017 ... and Equipment stocks, which are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic ... Heart Inc. (NASDAQ: SSH ). These companies are ... its prior gains on Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, ... afternoon, while shares of health care companies in the S&P ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... BOTHELL, Wash. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of advanced medical technology for non-invasive surgery, ... the Mirabilis System for treatment of uterine fibroids ... that it had received approval from the US ... study of the Mirabilis System in the United ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Mosaic Life Care, based in St. Joseph, Missouri ... across its network of 58 clinics, located in 22 cities, and its flagship St. ... ways to improve the delivery of health care to its patients, including the insurance, ... ... Mosaic Life Care St. Joseph Medical Center ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: