Sounding like a broken record, a loud group of public health activists and law makers continue to push for discriminatory and harmful taxes that do nothing to improve public health.

According to an independent study by Oxford Economics commissioned by The Beverage Association of South Africa, the proposed sugar tax in South Africa could cost 60,000-70,000 workers their jobs. About 60 percent of the jobs lost would be direct, upstream jobs, says the report.

Internationally, tax research has shown that taxes on common grocery items do not work. In Mexico, a 1 peso per liter tax on sugar-sweetened beverages was mostly paid by Mexico’s poorest families and it was a factor in the closure of more than 30,000 mom and pop stores while doing nothing to improve public health outcomes.  In Denmark, a tax on saturated fat failed and the government scrapped the tax only a year later. The European Commission determined in 2014 that taxes on targeted nutrients such as sugar and sodium had no discernible effect on public health.

No matter how you spin in, you just can’t tax your way to better health. Instead, these taxes hurt small businesses and harm those who can least afford it.

To learn more about why taxes don’t make people healthier, visit