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Soda Taxes Raise Revenue, But Do They Cut Obesity?
10/20/2009 06:16 PM ET   Reported By: Josie Huang

One of the biggest questions facing Congress about health care reform is how to pay for it. One idea: soda taxes, suggested by everyone from President Obama to public health advocates, who say reducing consumption of sugary drinks will also reduce obesity. Bates College economist Nate Tefft tackles soda taxes in an article he co-authored for the journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

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Tefft finds that soda taxes certainly raise revenue, but their impact on obesity is less sizeable than health advocates would hope. For every one percent tax increase, body mass index drops by just three-thousandths of a point. Nate Tefft teaches economics at Bates College and co-authored the article "Can Soft Drink Taxes reduce Population Weight?" The article is being published by Contemporary Economic Policy.


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