Skip to comments.Bitter study: Soda taxes don't cut obesity, drive people to other sugars
Posted on 03/13/2014 5:13:13 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A new report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation casts "serious doubt" on efforts by nanny state legislators to curb obesity through tax increases on sweet sodas and energy drinks, finding in some cases that people simply shift to other sweets and gain weight.
"Our results cast serious doubt on the assumptions that proponents of large soda taxes make on its likely impacts on population weight," said the report from three health economic experts. "Together with evidence of important substitution patterns in response to soda taxes that offset any caloric reductions in soda consumption, our results suggest that fundamental changes to policy proposals relying on large soda taxes to be a key component in reducing population weight are required," they added.
The report published in "Health Economics" and provided to Secrets could be a major blow to liberal and progressive state and local leaders who believe that high soft-drink taxes will instantly cut obesity, especially in children. It also undercuts social advocates who believe it is up to lawmakers to take over for parents and steer the nation's children on a path to healthy living.
The report looked at the impact of soda taxes on obesity on the national level and in two states where taxes have been imposed, Ohio and Arkansas.
On the national level, an increase in taxes on sugary drinks actually resulted in adults adding 27.7 calories to their daily intake with soda substitutes. "An important conclusion," said the report, "is that this evidence demonstrates that large increases in soft-drink taxes are unlikely to reduce total caloric intake."
In the studies of state data, the report found a decrease in obesity in Arkansas, but the data was limited, so the experts from the Universities of Wisconsin, Iowa and Washington focused on Ohio where more and better information was available. The result: "We cannot detect a significant weight effect because of a large soft drink tax increase," said the report titled "Non-linear Effects of Soda Taxes on Consumption and Weight Outcomes."
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has in the past funded proposals to use taxes to cut obesity. But the new report is the second funded by the influential foundation that has in less than a year discredited claims that higher soda taxes will curb obesity.
A RWJF-funded report published last August in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics said that Americans with a sweet tooth simply found a substitute to sodas as they tried to avoid the higher tax. "Instituting a sugary-beverage tax may be an appealing public-policy option to curb obesity, but it's not as easy to use taxes to curb obesity as it is with smoking," study lead author Chen Zhen, a research economist at RTI International, said.
Nanny State PING!
I’m confused — I thought higher taxes were a miracle cure for absolutely everything. Have I been misinformed?
Some FReepers think taxing the other guy is awesome.
Easier, more accurate, and cheaper study methodology:
If: liberal idea
Then: stupid, vapid, will not work, never has worked, no science at all.
Dropping sodas and cookies from Food Stamps though- now that cuts obesity!
Gee, wonder why the media selling those soda and cookie ads, and the Dems pocketing all those campaign donations from the soda and cookie companies aren’t all for it?
Don’t they care about the children?
Frankin stinks like a liberal do
Ideas pour out like fresh poo poo.
Never had a hint of wit
His intellect is just pure sh*t.
(To the tune of “England Swings Like a Pendulum Do”)
Hold on a sec. Full disclosure: are we really supposed to believe the nanny state legislators added the taxes because they were concerned about obesity?
ROFL ROFL ROFL
No...but if everyone read the book “Grain Brain” then they might cut the sugar (and grains)
I was certainly surprised to see the article mentioned the fact that RWJF funds the tax proposals - even though it was just a passing mention, it was at least a mention.
The truth of the matter is any group pushing for these taxes are greatly funded by RWJF.
No problem, tax the other sugars!!! </liberal idiot>
"I get all my sugar from a bottle"
The major cognitive dissonance here is that the official US diet (US MyPlate) wants people to get 60% of their calories from carbs (a mistake), and eat low fat (another mistake). Taxes on fat have also been proposed.
Taxing to compel a “healthy” diet is a disaster if the official guidelines are incorrect (and they are).
The obesity problem is not because people aren’t following the official advice - it’s because they are following it.
In order of impact, the issues are:
* gluten-bearing grains (mainly wheat)
* simple saccharides (esp. HFCS)
* low fat mania (and incorrect advice on what a healthy fat is)
* several more problems we can address when the big 3 are fixed
Even if pop were banned, people would get their junk carbs from something else.
Sugar taxes will indeed be no more effective than tobacco taxes, and probably a lot less effective. This, as with tobacco taxes, is primarily a money grab from addicted proles.
The real key is getting people to know that 80% of our healthcare problem (almost all of the chronic stuff) is trivially avoided with diet. People generally don’t want to be fat and sick, and once educated, most will choose to eat sanely, permanently. Alas, everyone developing what an ideal diet looks like is considered fringe or radical at the moment, and there’s a huge amount of noise from fad diets and vegetarian zealots.
A diet with zero added sugars, 5% of calories from carbs (under 50 grams net/day), moderate protein, and no particular limit on fat (other than avoiding trans, avoiding most seed PUFAs, and getting Omegas in balance) works wonders.
I’ve learned a lot more about food in the last three years than I’d intended. Haven’t had a sugar pop in that entire time, and don’t miss it.
That’s not the point, they are supposed to raise money. How much money to they give the ruling class?
I don’t have a problem with people on food stamps buying raw sugar and chocolate/cocoa for baking.
liberals: can’t stop us teaching your kids about sodomy and how to do all kinds of gross perversion, but damned ifmwe’ll let you give them a soda. and we’ll arrest you if you try to pick them up from school and throw away any homemade lunch they bring because we know it’s not calorically correct.
that’s the insanity we have today.
Yeah that’s a “win-win” in my opinion. The mother gets exercise making them and the kids get exercise begging for them. And a good time is had by all.
Other than one flippant comment about being OK with an increase alcohol tax - not a single one supporting Kascish was interested in discussing hitting anyone other than tobacco users on that thread.
Interesting, isn’t it? I also notice none of them are chiming in here :-)
“Wheat Belly” is a good one, too.