Taxes on Soda and Sports Drinks Shown to Reduce Obesity

By Drex – October 6, 2010

Increasing the price of calorically sweetened beverages—such as soda and sports drinks—is shown to reduce caloric intake and reduce obesity in the long run according to an article published in the newest issue of Choices Magazine.

“In the United States on average, calorically sweetened beverages make up a large share of total daily calories—about 13% for adolescents and young adults,” state authors Jessica E. Todd of the USDA-Economic Research Service and Chen Zhen of RTI International. “Taxing calorically sweetened beverages may be one part of a multi-sectoral approach to tackling the problem.”

Studies have shown that implementing a beverage tax has the potential to reduce obesity among adults by three percentage points and overweight in children by more than five percentage points.

The authors recognize that a very large tax would have to be implemented in order to discourage consumers from purchasing calorically sweetened beverages. However, over a longer time horizon, greater declines in obesity could be achieved as Americans get out of the habit of consuming calorically sweetened beverages.

The full text of this article is available at as part of the theme “Addressing the Obesity Challenge”, which includes several other articles focused on the topic of obesity.


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