Soda Tax Would Help Americans Gain 4 Pounds Less per Year

The USDA, examining a potential national tax on sugar in sweet drinks, recently found that such a tax would help Americans gain four pounds less per year.

The USDA, examining a potential national tax on sugar in sweet drinks, recently found that such a tax would help Americans gain four pounds less per year.

The tax would reduce caloric intake of adults by 13% according to the study. For an average American, that equates to 3.8 fewer pounds gained each year. Not exactly making us skinny, but it would help to keep obesity down.

From the study, Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages: Potential Effects on Beverage Consumption, Calorie Intake, and Obesity [PDF]:

This study estimated that a tax-induced 20-percent price increase on caloric sweetened beverages could cause an average reduction of 37 calories per day, or 3.8 pounds of body weight over a year, for adults and an average of 43 calories per day, or 4.5 pounds over a year, for children. Given these reductions in calorie consumption, results show an estimated decline in adult overweight prevalence (66.9 to 62.4 percent) and obesity prevalence (33.4 to 30.4 percent), as well as the child at-risk-for-overweight prevalence (32.3 to 27.0 percent) and the overweight prevalence (16.6 to 13.7 percent).

soda tax graph

Of course, there are some concerns from such a tax. One such concern is whether it would more adversely affect the poor. However, with the health benefits that are expected, I wonder if this wouldn’t be counterbalanced enough to still make it a benefit for them.

What are your thoughts? Would a “soda tax” be good for the United States?

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via TreeHugger

Photo Credit: poolie via flickr

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