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US Experts Say Soft Drinks Must be Taxed to Prevent Obesity

by Rajashri on September 18, 2009 at 12:25 AM
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 US Experts Say Soft Drinks Must be Taxed to Prevent Obesity

Most US experts agree that the plan to tax soft drink is the right one as far as tackling obesity is concerned. New York City health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, nutritionist Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, Kelly Brownell, an obesity expert at Yale University in Connecticut feel the time is right to slap more taxes on fizzy drinks.

"We propose an excise tax of one percent per ounce for any beverages that have any added caloric sweetener," they wrote. "Much as taxes on tobacco products are routine at both state and federal levels because they generate revenue and they confer a public health benefit with respect to smoking rates, we believe that taxes on beverages that help drive the obesity epidemic should and will become routine."

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The Congressional Budget Office has sent in figures, which show that an extra 3 cents on a 12-ounce dink may raise $50 billion over the next decade.

The authors also said that reducing caloric intake by 1 percent to 2 percent per year would have a marked impact on health in all age groups. Their views are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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