Evidence keeps piling up against the effectiveness of taxing every day grocery items like sports drinks, fruit juices and other beverages as a way to combat public health challenges. In a recent opinion piece for the Marianas Variety, Dr. Thomas D. Arkle Jr. lays out what research has found.
Dr. Arkle notes a recent article from Forbes Magazine which reported that a “study, published in the journal Health Economics, found that ‘increases in soft drink tax rates do correlate to less soda consumption, but not a reduction in calorie intake.’ The effect of soda taxes on obesity, the study concluded were ‘small in magnitude and not statistically significant.’”
He also shares a line from a ScienceDaily piece on research out of the University of Wisconsin, “’This evidence demonstrates that large increases in soft drink taxes are unlikely to reduce total caloric intake…The impact of soft drink taxes on the body mass index is small in magnitude and not statistically significant.’”
Taxing a single product or category of products will not make anyone healthier. Instead, we must work together on meaningful solutions rooted in education and collaboration that make a real, lasting impact.