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
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.
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 study examines trends in the prevalence of price promotions among packaged food and beverage purchases, differences in prevalence by household race/ethnicity or income, and the association between price promotions and the nutritional profile of purchases. The cross-sectional study uses a dataset of 90 million purchases from 38,744 (2008) to … More
To address public health concerns about the negative impact of children’s fast food consumption, some of the largest U.S. fast-food restaurants – McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Wendy’s, KFC, and Dairy Queen – have pledged to remove sugar-sweetened fountain drinks from menu boards and/or offer healthier drinks and side dishes with … More