Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Yankee Doodling

Under the cover of groceries: beating sugar taxes

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 03 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5111
  1. Douglas Kamerow, senior scholar, Robert Graham Center for policy studies in primary care, professor of family medicine at Georgetown University, and associate editor, The BMJ
  1. dkamerow{at}

A cynical strategy in the US to prevent local sugar taxes has had mixed results

Sugar sweetened beverages provide empty calories that succeed in two ways: they make great profits for their manufacturers, and they fatten adults and children who drink them. Dozens of countries around the world and a few US cities have instituted taxes on sales of such drinks to discourage consumption and to raise funds for government health initiatives. Research is starting to accumulate showing that these excise taxes (often the equivalent of a penny or two per ounce at the wholesale level) reduce sales of sugary drinks and increase sales of those without sugar, such as bottled water.12

When I last wrote about this, in 2010,3 …

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