Showing results for: Food taxes
This systematic review of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) finds that the taxes are associated with a decrease in the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages that are bought and consumed. A 10% tax lead to a 10% decrease in purchase and intake levels, on average, although there was considerable variation between results in different locations.
A jury-style event hosted by the UK’s Food Ethics Council finds that a meat tax is too simplistic. The event saw four “expert witnesses” give evidence on the impacts of meat and sugar taxes, the environmental impacts of grazing livestock, and the health impacts of consuming processed and ultra-processed meat.
According to this paper, survey participants were less likely to support implementing carbon taxes if they were also given the option of implementing a “green nudge” policy (making renewable energy plans the default option for residential consumers, but not compulsory).
Optimal taxation levels would cause the price of processed meat to increase by 25% and the price of red meat to increase by 4%, on average, according to this paper. The calculations are based on the additional healthcare costs incurred by one additional serving, as opposed to the total healthcare costs associated with all meat consumption. The paper concludes that such a tax on red and processed meats could reduce the deaths associated with consumption of these products by 9% and reduce associated healthcare costs by 14%.
A carbon tax applied across the whole economy, including agriculture, could put more people at risk of hunger (in terms of dietary energy availability) than climate change itself, according to a recent paper.
A new paper in Science reviews trends in meat consumption and the associated health and environmental implications. The paper also discusses potential means of influencing meat consumption levels.
A recent paper examines the connections between food system changes and diet and nutrition changes in Latin America and the Caribbean. It finds that food systems are changing to include more processed food, more and more easily available meat, dairy and out-of-season foods, cheaper food and a rise in supermarkets. It concludes that, while some Latin American countries are leaders on interventions to change demand (such as by introducing taxes on sugary beverages or regulating the advertising of unhealthy food), there is a long way to go, and that a change towards healthier food systems will require introducing incentives for companies to market healthy foods, driven by consumer demand.
Taxes to increase the price of sweet snacks such as chocolate, confectionary, cakes and biscuits could have greater health benefits than similar increases in the prices of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), according to a recent paper.
A sugar tax came into force in the UK on 6 April. Soft drinks manufacturers will be levied 18p per litre of drink that contains more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Unsweetened fruit juices and milk are exempt.
The Chilean government is using marketing restrictions, packaging regulations and labelling rules to tackle obesity. Three-quarters of adults in the country, and over half of 6-year-old children, are overweight or obese.
The European Public Health Alliance points to five areas where food, drink and agriculture policies in Europe are expected to develop in the coming year.
In this paper, the researchers evaluated the legal and administrative feasibility of enacting a US federal junk food tax to improve diets.
The Financial Times explores several emerging trends in the global food industry, including eating insects, new retail models in China, sugar taxes, food waste monitoring and genetically modified crops and animals.
This report from the UK free market think tank Institute of Economic Affairs claims that healthy food is actually cheaper than ‘junk food’. In drawing this conclusion the IEA also states that taxes on unhealthy foods (consumed as they say disproportionately by people with low incomes) is unlikely to be enough to change consumer behaviour and will be regressive - it will hit poorer people the hardest.
In this paper, a coupled agriculture and health modelling framework is used to estimate the mitigation potential and global health impacts from emissions pricing of food commodities. The analysis suggests that levying an appropriately designed GHG tax on food would be a health-promoting climate change mitigation policy in all high-income, middle income and most low-income countries. It is suggested that sparing healthy foods from taxation, selectively compensating for income losses from the tax, and channelling the subsequent revenues to health promotion could avert potential negative health impacts on vulnerable groups.
This short blog by Michael Hallsworth from the UK’s Behavioural Insight Team, discusses the early impacts of the upcoming soft drinks levy by the UK government. This levy aims to reduce sugar intakes from drinks.