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Tax On Unhealthy Foods Should Be At Least 20 Percent To Have A Health Impact

May 15, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers say evidence they have accumulated from various studies suggests that a minimum 20 percent tax on unhealthy foods, such as sugary drinks, would have a major impact on obesity and heart disease. Such a tax should be combined with subsidies on health foods, like fruits and vegetables. Modeling studies, for example, predict that a 20 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in the U.S. would reduce obesity levels by 3.5 percent; extending the VAT (currently at 17.5 percent) in the U.K. to unhealthy foods could reduce heart disease deaths by 2,700 a year.
O. T. Mytton et al., "Taxing unhealthy food and drinks to improve health", BMJ, May 15, 2012, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
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