Brownell%20et%20al%20Public%20Health%20and%20Economic%20Benefits%20of%20Taxing%20Sugar-Sweetened%20B

Brownell%20et%20al%20Public%20Health%20and%20Economic%20Benefits%20of%20Taxing%20Sugar-Sweetened%20B

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n engl j med 361;16 nejm.org october 15 , 2009 1599 health policy report The new england journal of medicine The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., Frank J. Chaloupka, Ph.D., Joseph W. Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., and David S. Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to risks for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease 1-3 ; therefore, a compelling case can be made for the need for reduced consump- tion of these beverages. Sugar-sweetened bever- ages are beverages that contain added, naturally derived caloric sweeteners such as sucrose (table sugar), high-fructose corn syrup, or fruit-juice concentrates, all of which have similar metabolic effects. Taxation has been proposed as a means of re- ducing the intake of these beverages and thereby lowering health care costs, as well as a means of generating revenue that governments can use for health programs. 4-7 Currently, 33 states have sales taxes on soft drinks (mean tax rate, 5.2%), but the taxes are too small to affect consump- tion and the revenues are not earmarked for pro- grams related to health. This article examines trends in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, evidence linking these beverages to adverse health outcomes, and approaches to de- signing a tax system that could promote good nutrition and help the nation recover health care costs associated with the consumption of sugar- sweetened beverages. consumption trends and health outcomes In recent decades, intake of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased around the globe; for example, intake in Mexico doubled between 1999 and 2006 across all age groups. 8 Between 1977 and 2002, the per capita intake of caloric bever- ages doubled in the United States across all age groups 9 (Fig. 1). The most recent data (2005–2006) show that children and adults in the United States consume about 172 and 175 kcal daily, respective- ly, per capita from sugar-sweetened beverages. The relationship between the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight has been examined in many cross-sectional and longi- tudinal studies and has been summarized in systematic reviews. 1,2 A meta-analysis showed positive associations between the intake of sugar- sweetened beverages and body weight — asso- ciations that were stronger in longitudinal stud- ies than in cross-sectional studies and in studies that were not funded by the beverage industry than in those that were. 2 A meta-analysis of studies involving children 10 — a meta-analysis that was supported by the beverage industry — was interpreted as showing that there was no evidence of an association between consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and body weight, but it erroneously gave large weight to several small negative studies; when a more realistic weighting was used, the meta-analysis summary
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This note was uploaded on 03/08/2011 for the course ECON 220 taught by Professor Cai during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Brownell%20et%20al%20Public%20Health%20and%20Economic%20Benefits%20of%20Taxing%20Sugar-Sweetened%20B

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