Small Taxes on Soft Drinks and Snack Foods to Promote Health

Article from the American Journal of Public Health


Health officials often wish to sponsor nutrition and other health promotion programs but are hampered by lack of funding.

One source of funding is suggested by the fact that 18 states and 1 major city levy special taxes on soft drinks, candy, chewing gum, or snack foods. The tax rates may be too small to affect sales, but in some jurisdictions, the revenues generated are substantial. Nationally, about $1 billion is raised annually from these taxes. The authors propose that state and local governments levy taxes on foods of low nutritional value and use the revenues to fund health promotion programs. Written by CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson and Kelly D. Brownell, PhD.