It’s no secret American’s don’t take very good care of themselves. Well, researchers suggest a new tax may help change that.
Researchers from Columbia University, UC San Francisco and Virginia Tech calculated that a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would significantly slash the instances of heart disease and strokes, according to a report in Heatlh Affairs.
Surely, this would tick off a lot of soda fans.
But the researchers say the tax would reduce super-sweet beverage consumption by 15%, resulting in the average adult age 25 to 64 consuming nine fewer calories per day. That, they say, would result in enough weight loss to reduce the number of obese adults by 867,000 in 10 years.
- The beverage tax would result in 95,000 fewer instances of heart disease and 8,000 fewer strokes, saving 26,000 lives and $17 billion in medical costs
- The revenue generated from the tax would equal approx. $13 billion, and
- Americans would drink more milk and juice to make up for the calories lost by drinking less soda.
Is there enough evidence?
Critics of beverage taxes say there still isn’t enough hard evidence to prove that raising the price of sugar-sweetened beverages prompts people to make healthier choices, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Beverage taxes have been implemented in various areas of the country already, and studies have shown the taxes don’t reduce consumption enough to have a significant impact on people’s body mass index.
Proponents, on the other hand, say it’ll have the same impact that tobacco taxes had on smokers: As taxes went up, smoking went down.
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