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Industrial processed foods and beverages, alcohol and tobacco are the
3 agents of the true epidemics of modern times, the industrial
epidemics, which are the first of avoidable causes of deaths and illness.
This is evidence based medicine.
In 1776, Adam Smith prosaically wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
"Sugar, rum, and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of
life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which
are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation." Salt had been taxed
everywhere, sometimes from time immemorial.
Voluntary agreements with industry are insufficient, firms are not
going to sacrifice profits.(1) Tax incentives are effective.(2) This is
evidence based policy.
There is no need for either debate or recommendation.(3,4)
1 Sugarman SD. Should we use regulation to demand improved public
health outcomes from industry? Yes. BMJ 2008;337:a1750.
2 Duffey KJ, Gordon-Larsen P, Shikany JM, Guilkey D, Jacobs DR Jr,
Popkin BM. Food price and diet and health outcomes: 20 Years of the CARDIA
Study. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170:420-6.
3 Cawley J. The economics of childhood obesity. Health Aff (Millwood)
4 Carlowe J NICE recommends that the food industry cut salt, sugar, and
fat to save lives. BMJ 2010;340:c3378