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
Parental and Provider Perceptions of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Interventions in the First 1,000 Days: A Qualitative Study
Novel approaches to reduce sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption during the first 1,000 days – pregnancy through age 2 years – are urgently needed. This study examined perceptions of SSB consumption and acceptability of potential intervention strategies to promote SSB avoidance in low income families in the first 1,000 days. Themes … More
Evaluation of the USDA FINI Program Finds Benefits for Consumers, Farmers and Retailers, and Local Economies
In December 2018, Congress passed a new farm bill which included a reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. This brief summarizes the findings of a recent qualitative evaluation of FINI, which concludes that the program has benefits for consumers, farmers and … 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