Will The Soda Tax Do Anything To Curb Obesity?

There’s a movement in New York to have the state pass a so-called “soda tax” that impose taxes on soft drinks containing more than 10 calories per 8 ounces. Among the beverages included would be just about all non-diet sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffees and teas (only in bottles), and fruit and vegetable juices containing less than 70% natural juice. According to the ads being run by the supporters of the tax, the goal is to curb childhood obesity. But will it really work?

According to the Alliance for a Healthier New York, they believe that a 10% increase in the retail costs of these beverages (FYI, milk, milk products, milk substitutes, dietary aids, and infant formula are exempt) will lead to an 8% “among low income populations.”

Opponents to the tax point out that only that above-referenced low income group would be affected by the price hike and this the tax does nothing to reverse the tide on the real problem.

In response, proponents of the measure say that the additional tax revenue generated by the price increase would go to the New York State Health Care Reform Act Resources Fund “to be used for health care and health related initiatives.”

What do you think — Can a soda tax be effective in reducing the number of obese children in the country?