Blog Post 02

Building My Expertise Using Scholarly Secondary Source

By Jennifer Guerim Kim 

01. Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages to Lower Childhood Obesity

A report of ‘Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages to lower childhood obesity’ is written by Sarah A. Wetter who is a legal researcher of Public Health Law and Policy Program with Another author,  James G. Hodge, a professor of Public Health Law and Ethics. ‘Sugar Tax’ broadly impacts on public health, politics, economic and society due to applying taxation on sugar-sweetened beverage, SSB, aimed to reduce overall sugar consumption and contribute on public health, especially protect the health of children. Composers argue that  taxation of SSB should implement internationally and believe it will yield long-term public health benefit according to revealing seriousness of American children obesity with their research as status report about facts on public response of United States. Moreover, they support how the other nations implement this taxation as a legal legislation and provide suggestion to overcome barriers.

Sarah and James support their positive perspectives on taxation of SSB consumption as a major contributor to children obesity motivated by scientific facts that obese children who decreased their added sugar consumption saw significantly decreased LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels in just 10 days. They impress fact that reducing sugar has possibility to improve children health care and build up reliability to audience through succession example case of Mexico where adapt sugar tax. Moreover, it will make same effectiveness as tobacco taxation that tax great impacts on low-income populations and impose significant health care costs. Tax of tobacco already depict as the single most effective tool in reducing the demand for tobacco use, particularly among children and adolescents.

On the other hand, authors state many kinds of barriers on legislation of sugar taxation due to negative public opinion and dissatisfaction of curbing SSB consumption. And they suggest considerations for future tax proposal to implement taxation of SSBs that include appropriate definitions of SSBs, setting an effective tax rate and proper allocation of tax revenues.

02. The Impact of a Tax and Sugar-Sweetened Beverages on Health and Health Care Costs: A Modelling Study

A paper of The impact of a tax and sugar-sweetened beverages on health and health care costs: a modelling study is written by four authors, J. Lennert Veerman, Gary Sacks, Nicole Antonopoulos and Jane Matin. They are all professional researchers about major study of public health, obesity prevention and obesity related diseases. They aim to estimate the consequences of an additional 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on health and health care expenditure through their supported researches and statics.

This paper generates that if Australian government collects tax on SSBs from present, it will produce much revenue (estimated as over 400 million dollars) in each year. And this is able to support participants as adult whose ages are over 20 years olds in particularly and they have risk factors on exposure of dangerous level of obesity-related diseases. In comparison with previous report which is ‘Taxing SSBs to lower childhood obesity’, composers of this report emphasis that increasing the tax on sugared drinks and improve population health, reduce health care costs as privilege for adults, as well as bring in direct revenue based on present condition of Australia.

Australian policy makers are ongoing to examine legislation of tax on SSBs under consideration and researchers advocate raising funds that can be used for comprehensive strategy to improve diet and population health shown as similar opinion and expectation of sugar tax with Sarah and James of previous paper. However, this report referred in sensitivity analytic perspective that how government applies revenue generated by the tax when it is outweighed by more people remaining alive who would have died without the tax, and who accrue health care costs due to unrelated illness. Moreover, in economic aspects, it uses Australian price elasticity estimates that consumption of SSBs were shown to be affected by changes in the price SSBs, the only cross-price elasticity which was statistically significant for Australia related to artificially sweetened drinks. In overall, authors support that a tax on SSBs should be considered as part of Australia’s tax reform agenda through evidenced cases and international experiences.

References

Veerman, J. L., Sacks, G., Antonopoulos, N. & Martin, J. 2016, ‘The impact of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages on health and health care costs: a modelling study’, Plos One, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-10.

Wetter, S. A. & Hodge, J. G. 2016, ‘Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages to Lower Childhood Obesity’, Ethical and Legal Issues in Pediatrics, vol. 44, no.1, pp. 359-361.

Author: Jennifer

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