That’s the pro case for a sugar tax, and it’s a good one.
(( One predominant policy for exempting groceries from sale taxes is that since groceries are necessities, lower income people are likely to spend a significant portion of their income on groceries and a tax on groceries is thus likely to be regressive.
To what extent does this policy hold true for sodas and other junk foods?
_r=1)) “Activity is not the solution – you can’t run off a Coke or an ice-cream cone or candy bar very easily – it takes a lot of exercise to offset an extra hundred calories,” he said.
The nutrition expert says the basic problem is that when people shift from drinking water or unsweetened tea and coffee to sugary drinks and juices, they don’t cut their food intake.
See the discussion of junk food tax here)), does Americans Against Food Taxes’ argument that the tax would cause an economic burden, particularly on the poor, necessarily condemn the tax?
Many disincentives from parking fines to cigarette taxes disproportionately impact lower income citizens without condemnation. Citizens may simply feel that the freedom to make individual dietary selections is beyond the realm of appropriate government regulation?
The level of contribution of sugary drinks to a variety of health problems impacting our nation may be subject to debate.
But if (1) junk food significantly adversely impacts health and (2) as a matter of social policy we want to disincentivize people from engaging in the unhealthy habit of consuming such foods ((Whether or not there is a legitimate public interest in regulating individual self-destructive behavior is subject to debate.
Health care costs would be lower, and people would live healthier, longer lives.
Governments could put the resulting revenue to good use, perhaps by helping low-income families or cutting other taxes.