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Soda Taxes Don’t Reduce Obesity Rates – Study

April 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Earlier studies on the impact of taxes on sugary drinks claimed that taxation would reduce obesity by 20 percent. But they were flawed because they relied on household data rather than individual consumption patterns: they assumed people didn’t replace soda calories with calories from another source. But new U.S. research that analyzed national survey data collected between 1989 and 2006 found that hiking soft drink taxes may cut soda drinking, but not total caloric intake because people replace the soda calories. "The impact of soft drink taxes on the body mass index is small in magnitude and not statistically significant," researchers concluded, noting that there should be “fundamental changes to policies” based on soda taxes as a strategy for reducing obesity rates.
Jason M. Fletcher et al., "Non-Linear Effects Of Soda Taxes On Consumption And Weight Outcomes", Health Economics, April 04, 2014, © John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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