Given the obesity epidemic in the United States, taxes and subsidies are increasingly being considered as potential policy instruments to incentivize consumers to improve their food and beverage consumption patterns and related health outcomes. This paper discusses the results of recent U.S. studies on the price elasticity of demand for sugar-sweetened beverages, fast food, and fruits and vegetables, as well as the direct associations of prices/taxes with body weight outcomes. It provides examples of the nature and scope of current fiscal pricing proposals, outlines fiscal policy instrument designs that are likely to be the most effective for improving diet and weight outcomes, and highlights areas for further research.
Assessing the Potential Effectiveness of Food and Beverage Taxes and Subsidies for Improving Public Health: A Systematic Review of Prices, Demand and Body Weight Outcomes
U.S. states have introduced bills requiring sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to display health warning labels. This study examined how warning labels influence parents and which labels are most effective. Over 2,000 demographically and educationally diverse parents of children ages 6 to 11 participated in an online survey. Parents were randomized to … More
A Qualitative Evaluation of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program
This research describes findings from interviews conducted with grantees of multi-year community-based and large-scale projects funded by the FINI mechanism, as well as with stakeholders who could speak to FINI on a broader level. A total of 22 interviews were conducted with 19 organizations. Key elements addressed in this evaluation … More
Few research studies have examined the menu items that parents purchase for their children at fast-food restaurants or their attitudes about healthier kids’ meals. The purpose of this research was to document specific menu items that parents reported purchasing for their children at the top fast-food restaurant chains, attitudes about … More