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Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 563 -- Chicago Newspaper Says, "Hey, Look Over There!" On Corruption. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 565 -- Government Debt Not Just Federal Problem. »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 564 -- Fat Taxes.

Taxing Sugar-

In an attempt to balance their state budgets, some Governors around the country have suggested new creative fees and taxes on cigarettes, iTunes downloads, strip clubs, and soft-drinks. The tax on soft-drinks would also mitigate obesity and therefore cut down on diabetes and other soaring health care costs, we are told. The Tax Foundation points out that the impact of a 58% tax on soft-drinks (which is similar to the tax level we have on cigarettes) would have a tiny impact on BMI:

According to Jason Fletcher, David Frizvold and Nathan Tefft, taxes on soda do appear to affect obesity, but the effect is very small. They estimate that a 1% increase in the soda tax rate decreases mean adult body mass index by 0.003. So, even if sodas faced a 58% tax rate (similar to the average effective tax rate on cigarettes) the authors estimate that mean BMI would fall by just 0.16 points. For contrast, mean American BMI has risen by 2.3 points between 1990 and 2006.

To put that into visual perspective, the brown is what the American BMI has risen by since 1990. The green is the anticipated BMI impact of a really aggressive and punitive coke tax:

sugardrinktax.gif

That BMI impact is clearly not worth the drastically higher prices on sugary drinks.

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Previous Trivia Tidbit: Measuring Political Corruption.

Posted by Will Franklin · 30 March 2009 11:56 AM

Comments

Freedom and justice for all. I miss that! I want to be free to choose what I partake of. The Govt really needs to get it's nose out of our lives!

Posted by: ZsaZsa at March 30, 2009 02:54 PM