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
This Brief summarizes select characteristics of state-level policies and programs to test for lead in school drinking water. It is based on a study from researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of California Nutrition Policy Institute. The full results of the study, … More
This study examined the relationship between parental sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) attitudes and SSB consumption during the first 1,000 days – gestation to age 2 years. The study population consisted of 394 WIC-enrolled, Hispanic/Latino families living in northern Manhattan. Parental SSB attitudes were determined through a four question survey that used … More