Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taxes on sugary drinks and high fat foods could improve health, experts say

Date:
December 11, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Taxes on soft drinks and foods high in saturated fats and subsidies for fruit and vegetables could lead to beneficial dietary changes and potentially improve health, according to a study by experts from New Zealand.

Taxes on soft drinks and foods high in saturated fats and subsidies for fruit and vegetables could lead to beneficial dietary changes and potentially improve health, according to a study by experts from New Zealand published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Related Articles


Helen Eyles and colleagues from the University of Auckland and the University of Otago (Wellington) reached these conclusions by reviewing all relevant modelling studies that investigated the association between food pricing strategies, food consumption and chronic diseases (often referred to as non-communicable diseases, which includes conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes).

In their combined analysis of 32 studies (all from high-income countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the authors' model predicted a 0.02% fall in energy intake from saturated fat for each 1% price increase. Likewise, a 10% increase in the price of soft drinks could decrease consumption by 1% to as much as 24%.

In contrast, the authors found that a 10% decrease in the price of fruits and vegetables could increase consumption by between 2% to 8%. However, the authors found evidence to suggest that such a subsidy might result in compensatory purchasing with people buying less of other healthy products, such as fish, or more of less healthy products (e.g. sugar), which may not be beneficial to health overall.

The authors also found that studies that compared food pricing strategies by socio-economic group estimated improved health outcomes for those on lower incomes, which may be relatively greater than for those on higher incomes. This suggests that food pricing strategies also have the potential to reduce inequalities.

The authors say: "Based on modelling studies, taxes on carbonated drinks and saturated fat and subsidies on fruits and vegetables are associated with beneficial dietary change, with the potential for improved health. "

The authors continue: "It must be noted that the impact of any given food tax or subsidy is likely to differ by country depending on factors such as the type of tax system implemented, health status, co-existent marketing, cultural norms, expendable income, and the social role of food."

The authors add: "Given the limitations of the current evidence, robust evaluations must be planned when food pricing policies are implemented by governments."

The authors conclude: "Additional research into possible compensatory purchasing and long-term population health outcomes for different socio-economic groups is needed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helen Eyles, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Nhung Nghiem, Tony Blakely. Food Pricing Strategies, Population Diets, and Non-Communicable Disease: A Systematic Review of Simulation Studies. PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9 (12): e1001353 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001353

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Taxes on sugary drinks and high fat foods could improve health, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211193253.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, December 11). Taxes on sugary drinks and high fat foods could improve health, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211193253.htm
Public Library of Science. "Taxes on sugary drinks and high fat foods could improve health, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121211193253.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins