Food prices and obesity: a review.
In response to rising rates of obesity in the United States due in part to excess food consumption, researchers and policy makers have argued that levying food taxes on obesity-promoting foods, perhaps combined with subsidies on healthier options, would be an effective tool to stem the obesity epidemic. The extent to which overall energy intake or weight outcomes will improve as a result of these policies is ultimately an empirical question. This review examines the link between food or beverage price changes and energy intake or weight outcomes among U.S. consumers. Current evidence indicates that, by themselves, targeted food taxes and subsidies as considered to date are unlikely to have a major effect on individual weight or obesity prevalence. While research suggests that the effects are modest, food taxes and subsidies may play an important role in a multifaceted approach to reducing obesity incidence.
Finkelstein, EA; Strombotne, KL; Zhen, C; Epstein, LH
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