18% tax on pizza and soda can decrease U.S. adults' weight by 5 pounds (2 kg) per year

Nearly a third of American children are overweight or obese. In our inner cities a prevalence of obesity of more than 50% is not uncommon. Too many calories in, too little energy out.

With two-thirds of Americans either overweight or obese, policymakers are increasingly looking at taxing as a way to address obesity on a population level.

The tobacco experience showed that education is not enough: regulation, litigation, and legislation are needed too. Increasing taxes on cigarettes has been the single most effective strategy in reducing smoking.

An important part of the obesity story is clearly the huge increase in consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs): carbonated sodas, sweet teas, energy drinks, flavoured water, and sports drinks. Their use has more than doubled in recent years.

"Sadly, we are currently subsidizing the wrong things including the product of corn, which makes the corn syrup in sweetened beverages so inexpensive."

Instead, the agricultural subsidies should be used to make healthful foods such as locally grown vegetables, fruits and whole grains less expensive.

Danish government imposed 25% tax on ice cream, chocolate, sweets, and will increase taxes on soft drinks, tobacco, alcohols to combat obesity, heart disease, and other illnesses. BMJ. http://goo.gl/ixc0

 Some pizzas are 'saltier than the sea' (NHS blog).

Tax soda, pizza to cut obesity, researchers say | Reuters.
'To Burn Off Calories in This Soda, Walk 5 Miles' - new label http://buff.ly/1vzbCKH
Image source: Soft drinks, Wikipedia, public domain.


  1. I can't stand it. Government, get out of our way. Let us live, make mistakes, and learn from them. Why do you think we're here?

  2. Good point.

    But how about the model of most European countries? More government and social support (health care, pensions, etc.) may be the answer...

  3. Governments like ours that are broke will look at lots of ways to generate revenue. The cigarette taxes were to support education in OH, but drove so many to quit that the state had to expand gambling to make more money. So now we have passed laws to allow casinos to be started to get more tax money to support education. Casinos are not causing cancer or heart disease and not fattening, however, so many would call the gambling expansion a victory.
    We pay too many taxes already. In the land of the free, people should be free to choose what they eat, what they smoke and what they do with their free time. Then, no matter which habits they pursue for their health, they all die. 100% death rates in the thin and the fat and the perfect body shapes.

  4. that's a cynical view. let's do nothing then... it does not work.