Mayor Nutter could be onto something. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reports that the higher the price of soda, the fewer calories that people consume and the lower their weight.
If the goal of the Mayor’s proposed 2 cent an ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is to take on the obesity epidemic and improve public health, he is on target. The study by researchers at the University of North Carolina and elsewhere, tracked 5,115 young adults over a 20-year period. They found that a $1 increase in the price of soda resulted in less “energy intake,” lower weight and better scores on a measure of insulin resistance (a problem related to diabetes.)
And the researchers noted that if an increase of $1 were added to the price of pizza, the improvements in terms of calories consumed, weight and insulin resistance would be even greater. So, watch out Philadelphia. A pizza tax could be next.
See a story in today’s Inquirer by my colleague Don Sapatkin on the accumulating body of evidence that suggests a link between soda and obesity. There are two main reasons for that link researchers say. One is that adults now consume twice the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages as they did 50 years ago and American children now drink more soda than milk. In addition, unlike solid foods, liquids don't satisfy hunger.