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Showing posts from February, 2016

Sugar tax : some hard questions

A sugar tax, or more correctly, a soda tax, is the talk of the town and the darling of the media these days. Far be it for me to spoil the party, but I’d like to ask some questions of the proponents of a soda tax to try and get the full picture and not just the sloganistic headlines.
#1. Given the extensive data that we have to hand on national patterns of food and nutrient intake, all of which can be readily linked to bodyweight or body mass index (BMI), where can I find the relevant report that shows that, of all the foods that might be taxed to curb obesity, soda is the clear target?
The simple answer is that in the myopic propaganda on soda tax, no such extensive analysis exists that I know of. So, we are not taxing savoury snacks, fast foods, sugar or chocolate confectionery or booze. Just soda. And we are doing so simply because it is now a global fashion. Of the foods just mentioned, how do policy makers know their average contribution to energy intake, the % of the population w…