Publication Date: November 2009
Publisher: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Research Area: Health
Today, nearly one-third of all children and adolescents in the country—more than 23 million young people—are overweight or obese, and are therefore at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a host of other serious diseases. These health consequences have significant economic impacts as well. Overweight and obesity cost the United States $147 billion a year in direct health care cost and lost productivity.
Emerging research suggests that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may be at least partly responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic, and that a tax on these beverages may help to reduce children’s consumption of them and provide much-needed revenue.
The articles, research briefs and resources here explore the role that sugar-sweetened beverages play in the childhood obesity epidemic, the potential that a tax on these beverages has to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and the amount of revenue that could be generated by such a tax.