Many public health activists claim that taxes on soda will improve public health and solve the world’s public health issues. However, a report highlighted in this CNN article from the Tax Policy Center shows that a tax on soda is not as simple as the activists make it seem.
The authors note that some of the people who reduce soda consumption because the price goes up from a tax will only substitute beverages with other calories from other foods and beverages. So consumers undercut the aim of the tax – which is to reduce someone’s total caloric intake.
The center concludes that "[taxes] are no substitute for efforts to identify and help people at the greater risk from obesity, diabetes and related conditions."
There simply isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to addressing the complex issue of obesity. Instead of chasing after policies that are ineffective and regressive, lawmakers should stick with what science says does work – education. It all comes down to providing people with information and choices they need to help them achieve a balanced lifestyle.