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
The USDA Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows SNAP participants to shop and pay for groceries online, rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of participating states increased from 5 to 47. This brief assesses whether the Pilot promotes healthy food access (using the … More
Acceptability, Preference, and No-Show Rates for In-Person and Phone-Based Consultations at Nine WIC Centers in New York City Before and During COVID-19
Access to WIC benefits typically requires an in-person visit to a WIC center, however this became a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic due to recommendations for social distancing to minimize and prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, in-person requirements were removed for all visits, except first time … More
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest United States Department of Agriculture federal nutrition assistance program. As an entitlement program, SNAP is designed to expand as incomes fall, enabling the program to respond quickly when need increases. For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP served an average … More