Health Tip – Jan. 15 – Would a Soda Tax Reduce Obesity?

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Dee Dee - Health Tip

Dee Dee – Health Tip

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to limit the size of sodas sold in his city was nixed by a judge (a court challenge is in the works), but now researchers from Britain’s Oxford University and the University of Reading have come up with a plan they think can help stem the obesity epidemic in the U.K.: a 20 percent tax on sugar sweetened drinks.

The researchers estimated that the tax would reduce sales of these drinks significantly and cut the obesity rate by 1.3 percent. That would mean 180,000 fewer obese adults in the U.K., which has the dubious distinction of being the fattest country in Europe. The researchers said the biggest impact would be on soft drink junkies under age 30.

Meanwhile, the Mexican Congress has approved new taxes on sweet drinks and junk food that will amount to one peso (about 8 cents) per liter on soft drinks and an 8 percent sales tax on high-calorie foods, including potato chips, sweets and cereal. The lawmakers noted the new taxes  were needed to help combat Mexico’s rising rates of obesity and diabetes, as well as to increase revenue.

Reportedly, the British researchers weren’t optimistic that a tax on sugar sweetened drinks would be approved by Parliament – last year, a proposal to tax the meat pie, a British pub classic, was tabled.

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