CPC Fellow Popkin among the experts advocating for a sales tax to tackle obesity

Sep 18, 2009

CPC Fellow Barry Popkin co-authored an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine that describes how taxing soda pop and other sugar-sweetened beverages can help decrease the rising obesity rates in the U.S. and throughout the world. The article is being discussed in numerous media outlets, including the following. Popkin is Carla Steel Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Proposed tax on sugary beverages debated
New York Times, Sept. 16 (journalist: William Neuman)

Excerpt: "The scientific paper found that a beverage tax might not only raise revenue but have significant health effects, lowering consumption of soda and other sweet drinks enough to lead to a small weight loss and reduced health risks among many Americans."

Fight obesity? Add sales tax to soda tab
The Associated Press, Sept. 17 (journalist: Mike Stobbe)

Excerpt: "In a bid to ramp up the public health battle against obesity, a group of nutrition and economics experts are pushing for a tax of 1 cent on every of ounce of sodas and other sweetened beverages. ...His co-authors included Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson; New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley; University of North Carolina obesity expert Barry Popkin; University of Illinois economist Frank Chaloupka; and Harvard nutrition and obesity experts Dr. Walter Willett and Dr. David Ludwig."

Taxing your sweet tooth
News13.com (video and text), Sept. 16 (journalist: Corinne Alcazar)
Excerpt: ' "If they cut out 10, 20, 30, 40 percent of the sugar in those beverages, that would be wonderful. We would love that. That would be a victory," says University of North Carolina economist Barry Popkin.'

Scholarly source:
Brownell, Kelly D., Farley, Thomas, Willett, Walter C., Popkin, Barry M., Chaloupka, Frank J., Thompson, Joseph W., Ludwig, David S.
The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages.
New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 16, 2009.

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