Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

States aiming to promote healthy eating through sales taxes often miss the target

Date:
December 18, 2012
Source:
RTI International
Summary:
Increasing sales taxes on sugary foods to promote healthier food choices among grocery store shoppers is unlikely to be effective because many consumers are unaware of the tax differences on food items sold in grocery stores, according to a new study.

Increasing sales taxes on sugary foods to promote healthier food choices among grocery store shoppers is unlikely to be effective because many consumers are unaware of the tax differences on food items sold in grocery stores, according to a new study by RTI International and Cornell University.

The study, published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, surveyed 483 shoppers in three chain grocery stores in upstate New York State and found that, on average, one-third of all consumers do not know the correct sales tax status of food and beverages. The authors noted that consumers are sometimes inattentive to sales taxes because the tax is added at the register and not reflected in the shelf price, so consumers then did not recognize the impact of increased taxes on items they had previously purchased.

According to researchers who conducted the study, a more effective strategy to promote healthier food choices might be to increase the tax on the production and distribution (i.e., manufacturers, bottlers, wholesalers, retailers, and distributors) of less healthy food. Doing so would help consumers see the increased the shelf price of less healthy items.

"Most consumers do not have the knowledge of varying sales taxes on different grocery items required to better inform their choices," said Yuqing Zheng, Ph.D., a research economist at RTI and the study's leading author. "Although these taxes are effective in raising revenue for states, they are unlikely to be effective in promoting healthy food choices."

As part of the study, researchers conducted a shopping experiment in major national and regional grocery/supermarket chain stores and specialty chain stores in two cities in upstate New York and North Carolina and found that many store receipts used codes to indicate the tax status of items while others did not differentiate between taxable and exempt foods at all. Such practices contribute to lack of awareness of the taxes on individual food items.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RTI International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Zheng, E. W. McLaughlin, H. M. Kaiser. Taxing Food and Beverages: Theory, Evidence, and Policy. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/ajae/aas138

Cite This Page:

RTI International. "States aiming to promote healthy eating through sales taxes often miss the target." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218143002.htm>.
RTI International. (2012, December 18). States aiming to promote healthy eating through sales taxes often miss the target. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218143002.htm
RTI International. "States aiming to promote healthy eating through sales taxes often miss the target." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218143002.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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