Placing a tax on unhealthy foods — a so-called “fat tax” — has been widely suggested as a way to help combat obesity and raise revenue for struggling government budgets. However, others argue that this approach would unfairly single out the beverage and candy industries and, instead, advocate for a healthy food subsidy.
Interestingly, a new study published in Psychological Science found that the taxing method was a more effective approach in reducing caloric intake, reducing the proportion of fat purchased and increasing the proportion of protein purchased. On the flip side, when subsidies were offered for healthy foods, people used the “extra” money they had to buy less healthy “treats.”
A recent survey of New Yorkers revealed that 76 percent support a tax on sugary beverages as a way to balance the city budget.