Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Soda tax does little to decrease obesity, study shows

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
Extra sales taxes on soda may not do anything to improve people’s health, according to new research from a health economist. "This evidence demonstrates that large increases in soft drink taxes are unlikely to reduce total caloric intake," the lead author says. "The impact of soft drink taxes on the body mass index is small in magnitude and not statistically significant."

Extra sales taxes on soda may not do anything to improve people's health, according to new research from health economist Jason Fletcher of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Some older studies suggest taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages will reduce obesity by 20 percent rely on household data instead of individual consumption patterns, and they assume that individuals don't replace the calories in the soda with calories from another source," says Fletcher, who co-authored the article with David E. Frisvold, of the University of Iowa's Economics Department, and Nathan Tefft, of the University of Washington's School of Public Health. "In contrast, our study found that increases in soft drink tax rates do correlate to less soda consumption, but not a reduction in calorie intake."

In their new research, published initially online by the journal Health Economics in March, Fletcher and his co-authors conducted two studies. One uses National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys data to estimate effects on reported consumption and caloric intake of soda and other beverages as well as measured height and weight for a nationally representative sample of adults between 1989 and 2006.

"This evidence demonstrates that large increases in soft drink taxes are unlikely to reduce total caloric intake," Fletcher says. "The impact of soft drink taxes on the body mass index is small in magnitude and not statistically significant."

The second study looks at Ohio and Arkansas in the early 1990s. Both states substantially increased soda taxes. Fletcher, Frisvold and Tefft compare weight outcomes in those two states to outcomes in control groups drawn from other states. The apparent effects of a soda tax depend on which control group they used.

Additionally, although the tax appears to reduce body mass index and obesity prevalence in Arkansas when compared with states with no tax change, the tax increased body mass index in Ohio, Fletcher says.

"Our results cast serious doubt on the assumptions that proponents of large soda taxes make about the effects on population weight," Fletcher says. "Given that people substitute other calories when they give up soda, these new results suggest we need fundamental changes to policies that make large soda taxes a key element in the fight to reduce overall obesity rates."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. The original article was written by Karen Faster. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jason M. Fletcher, David E. Frisvold, Nathan Tefft. NON-LINEAR EFFECTS OF SODA TAXES ON CONSUMPTION AND WEIGHT OUTCOMES. Health Economics, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/hec.3045

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Soda tax does little to decrease obesity, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324133111.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2014, March 24). Soda tax does little to decrease obesity, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324133111.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Soda tax does little to decrease obesity, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324133111.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
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