Soda tax could stem childhood obesity epidemic
Researchers have revealed that excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, exercise, and advertising ban on sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, sweet teas, and sports drinks would reduce obesity in adolescents.
According to the study, the policy would also generate significant revenue for additional obesity prevention activities and nearly one in three young people between two and 19 years old were overweight or obese in 2009-2010, and 17 percent were obese. There are significant disparities in obesity prevalence among racial/ethnic groups and by socioeconomic status.
In order to evaluate the potential long-term impact of federally recommended policies, investigators used a set of criteria to select three policies to reduce childhood obesity from among 26 recommended policies: afterschool physical activity programs, a one cent per ounce excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and a ban on child-directed fast food television advertising.
For each policy, the literature was reviewed from January 2000 through July 2012 to find evidence of effectiveness and to create average effect sizes. The investigators then used a Markov microsimulation model to estimate each policy's impact on diet or physical activity, and then BMI, in a simulated school-aged population in 2032, after 20 years of implementation.
The model predicted that all three policies could reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity, particularly among Blacks and Hispanics, who have higher rates of obesity than whites, thus demonstrating that federal policy could alter the childhood obesity epidemic.
The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
(Posted on 28-08-2014)