ABA_LCIU_soda_tax

Q and A

Myth

Taxing soda would reduce obesity.

Fact

There is no evidence that soda taxes will have any effect whatsoever on obesity, and one study showed just the opposite. The study, conducted by an economist at the Yale School of Public Health found that “…any obesity-related benefit of decreased soda consumption that comes from a soda tax is, on average, more than offset by increased caloric consumption from other beverages.” The author reported that “[A] 6-calorie reduction in soda consumption is accompanied by an 8-calorie increase in milk consumption and a 2-calorie increase in juice and juice drink consumption.”

In addition, states that have had an excise tax on soft drinks – such as West Virginia and Arkansas – have continued to rank in the top 10 most obese states in the country while states with no soda tax, such as Colorado and Vermont, continue to rank among the least obese states.

Source: “Slim Odds: Empirical studies provide little evidence soda taxes would shrink Americans’ waistlines;” Jonathan Klick, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Eric Helland, professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College; Regulation; Spring 2011

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