Policy Documents

Overreaching on Obesity: Governments Consider New Taxes on Soda and Candy

Scott Drenkard –
October 31, 2011

States are increasingly extending higher tax rates to products like candy and soda, ostensibly to fight obesity, but such moves are unlikely to have an impact on obesity rates and health outcomes, according to this study by the Tax Foundation.

Instead, the taxes will create a complex and confusing classification system to divide the "good" food and drink products from the allegedly "bad" ones, says Tax Foundation analyst Scott Drenkard, author of the report.

"While reducing obesity-related health problems is a worthy goal, adding an additional tax burden to particular food and beverage categories is a clumsy and inefficient strategy," said Scott Drenkard. "Obesity taxes fall on all consumers, including those who consume candy and soda in moderation and have no weight-related health issues."