Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages to Lower Childhood Obesity: Public Health and the Law
Wetter, S.A.; Hodge, J.G.
Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics a Journal of the American Society of Law Medicine and Ethics 44(2): 359-363
ISSN/ISBN: 1748-720X PMID: 27338611 DOI: 10.1177/1073110516654129
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) contributes to multiple health problems including obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay, especially among children. Excise taxation has been proven efficacious in changing purchasing behaviors related to tobacco use with resulting improvements in public health outcomes. Similar taxes applied to SSBs are starting to take hold internationally and domestically. SSB taxes have been proposed in over 30 U.S. jurisdictions since 2009, but only Berkeley (CA) has passed and implemented one to date. Given empirical evidence of their effectiveness, governments should consider implementation of SSB excise taxes based on uniform definitions of SSBs and other factors.