Taxing sodas and other sweetened beverages could trigger a small amount of weight loss and could also raise revenues to pay for other anti-obesity measures, according to beveragedaily.com citing a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The report said, adding a sales tax of 20% to sugar-sweetened beverages could result in a daily average reduction of 6.9 calories per person. Over the course of a year, this would equate to about 0.7 pounds in weight loss. A 40% tax would result in a 12.5 calorie reduction, and annual weight loss of about 1.3 pounds per person.
Researchers at the Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Graduate Medical School who conducted this study estimated that applying such taxes throughout the United States could generate an annual USD$1.5 billion or $2.5 billion in tax revenue respectively.
Lead researcher Eric Finkelstein was quoted saying that this strategy should be considered given the rising trend in obesity rates although the weight loss would be moderate.
The research comes at a time when several US states have been considering taxing sugary soft drinks as a way to plug budget deficits, as well as to tackle the nation’s obesity problem. According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 17% of children and nearly 27% of adults in the US are obese. More from FoodNavigator.com