Wednesday, December 17, 2008
According to yesterday’s news, the Governor of New York has proposed an 18% tax on non-diet drinks and drinks containing less than 70% real fruit juice. The tax, coined rather inappropriately, the “obesity tax”, will mean that while a diet coke costs $1.00, a regular coke of the same size may cost up to $1.18. Exempt from the tax would be milk, fruit juice, diet soda, and water.
The naive prediction is that this tax will reduce consumption of high-calorie drinks by about 5% and help to reduce New York’s obesity levels. The more prominent reason behind the tax is likely to raise over $400 million in the following year and thus help reduce the state’s $15 billion deficit.
This proposal is interesting given that the American Medical Association has previously refused a similar proposal on a federal level.
As Travis and I repeatedly mention, overly-simplistic “solutions” to the obesity epidemic are likely to be totally useless. Increasing the cost of pop by a few cents is not going to lead to substantial reductions in the prevalence of a condition which is influenced by a plethora of factors. Will we ever learn to stop reducing the obesity problem down to pop, a new hormone (remember leptin circa 1990’s), McDonalds, TV, etc.?
Enjoyed this story? Share it with your friends by clicking the buttons below!
To get future posts delivered directly to your email inbox or to your RSS reader, be sure to subscribe to Obesity Panacea.