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Tax processed food to subsidise healthier options and tackle obesity, says think tank

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2569 (Published 12 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2569
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

The tendency for common processed foods such as crisps and biscuits to become cheaper over the past 30 years, while fruit and vegetables have become more expensive, is driving the obesity epidemic, a think tank has said. It recommends that governments consider introducing taxes on unhealthy foods and use these to subsidise other food groups.

The Overseas Development Institute, an independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues, studied food prices in four countries—Brazil, China, Korea, and Mexico—and compared what was happening there to food prices changes in the United States and United Kingdom.

It found that in the newly rich countries fruit and …

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