Can Americans tax themselves out of their obesity crisis? A new analysis of Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation “soda tax” offers encouraging results about its power to change people’s dietary habits.
Five months after the city implemented its penny-per-ounce tax on all manner of sugar-sweetened beverages, lower-income residents had reduced their consumption by 21%, compared to the pre-tax days. Meanwhile, their counterparts in neighboring Oakland and San Francisco increased the amount of sugary drinks consumed by 4% during the same period, according to a study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Public Health.
Instead of swilling as much Coke, Gatorade, Red Bull and Hawaiian Punch, the Berkeley residents boosted their water consumption by 63%. In the neighboring cities, low-income residents drank only 19% more water during the study period.
The results provide strong evidence that the sin taxes that helped steer consumers away from alcohol and tobacco products can also work on sugary drinks such as soda, said Dr. Kristine Madsen, a public health researcher at UC Berkeley and senior author of the study.
“While Berkeley is just one small city, this is an important first step in identifying tools that can move the needle on population health,” Madsen said in a statement.
In the perfect progressive world, abortion is the only thing that a human can freely choose, and that only applies to females, obviously. There is virtually no other area of an adult’s life over which they think the government shouldn’t be in charge.
It doesn’t take a professional statistician to figure out that an increase in price would affect the buying habits of poor people. As the law passed with 75% of the vote, there seems to have been some enthusiasm for moving in that direction as well.
Because it’s Berkeley.
If you’re looking for a city in America to find fetish-level lust for taxes and what they can “accomplish” to control the population, you look to Berkeley.
The classic liberal condescending paternalism is on full display here. Progressive elites feel that they know what is best for the poor people and want to have full control over anyone who isn’t getting a sweet tenure salary.
The slippery slope looming in the near future involves just what the nannies decide is worthy of the next sin-tax crusade. They’ll uses “successes” like this to not only control a portion of the lower-income population, but to target corporations whose success they resent. This is practically porn for the progressive academic crowd.
At the bottom of the slippery slope is usually a black market. Let’s not forget that Eric Garner’s tragic, fatal encounter with the police occurred because was illegally selling loose cigarettes and circumventing the sin tax.
But, hey, victory or something, right Nanny Staters?