Regular readers of the Sip & Savor have heard this before: we can’t tax our way to better health. A recent study published in Health Economics confirms that soda taxes do not curb obesity.
Jason Fletcher, one of the co-authors of the study and a health economist at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison states in a press release:
"Our results cast serious doubt on the assumptions that proponents of large soda taxes make about the effects on population weight. Given that people substitute other calories when they give up soda, these new results suggest we need fundamental changes to policies that make large soda taxes a key element in the fight to reduce overall obesity rates."
As this study shows, soda taxes are not the answer to addressing the complex issue of obesity. If we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education – not laws and regulation.