Bitter study: Soda taxes don't cut obesity, drive people to other sugars
Examiner, The (Washington, DC)
A new report funded by the
"Our results cast serious doubt on the assumptions that proponents of large soda taxes make on its likely impacts on population weight," said the report from three health economic experts. "Together with evidence of important substitution patterns in response to soda taxes that offset any caloric reductions in soda consumption, our results suggest that fundamental changes to policy proposals relying on large soda taxes to be a key component in reducing population weight are required," they added.
The report published in "Health Economics" and provided to Secrets could be a major blow to liberal and progressive state and local leaders who believe that high soft-drink taxes will instantly cut obesity, especially in children. It also undercuts social advocates who believe it is up to lawmakers to take over for parents and steer the nation's children on a path to healthy living.
The report looked at the impact of soda taxes on obesity on the national level and in two states where taxes have been imposed,
On the national level, an increase in taxes on sugary drinks actually resulted in adults adding 27.7 calories to their daily intake with soda substitutes. "An important conclusion," said the report, "is that this evidence demonstrates that large increases in soft-drink taxes are unlikely to reduce total caloric intake."
In the studies of state data, the report found a decrease in obesity in
A RWJF-funded report published last August in the