Tax on Sugared Drinks Can Help Tackle Obesity Epidemic

Penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks would cut consumption by over 10 percent
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would result in a more than 10 percent reduction in consumption, and as such would be a significant contributor to the fight against obesity in America, according to an article published online April 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., health commissioner for the City of New York, write that sugar-sweetened drinks account for 10 to 15 percent of the calories that children and adolescents consume, and that a child's risk of obesity increases by 60 percent for every daily extra can or glass consumed.

If the price of sugar-sweetened drinks increased by 10 percent due to taxes, it would reduce consumption by 7.8 percent or more, the authors note. Asymmetry in the buyer-seller relationship, whereby manufacturers make health claims about their products and target advertising at vulnerable young children; the contribution of obesity to the taxpayer's health costs burden; and the potential for revenue generation all add up to a strong argument for a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, the authors state.

"Objections have certainly been raised: that such a tax would be regressive, that food taxes are not comparable to tobacco or alcohol taxes because people must eat to survive…," the authors write. "But the poor are disproportionately affected by diet-related diseases and would derive the greatest benefit from reduced consumption; sugared beverages are not necessary for survival."

Full Text

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events