Now as the mayor of New York city goes to work trying to correct the budget deficit by taxing soda, a relevant question has come to the fore: Can junk food taxes lead to weight loss? And somewhat equivocal is the answer; Maybe it can.
A study conducted over 20 years has tried to suggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease and settled on four food items. It was seen that demand for whole milk, pizza, soda and hamburgers reduced when prices rose.
A price hike was connected to decline in demand and what the study also found was that when the prices of certain fattening items of food went up, people also showed a change in behavior; more particularly buying patterns and were seen to consume 124 calories less per day!
So while the link between prices (read taxes) and consumption is a little tenuous, a formula of sorts is arrived at: 18% tax on soda would cause people to shed 5 pounds over the course of a year.
Whether a ‘sin tax’ will have the desired effect of making people lose the weight is yet to be seen; however if in the meantime it is earning the exchequer some extra dollars for public works, so be it!
Source L A Times