Portugal Introduces Soda Tax in 2017

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Sugar is now clearly public health enemy #1. Here’s further proof, in the form of yet another country planning to implement a new soda tax:

The Guardian: Portugal to Levy Sugar Tax on Soft Drinks in 2017

Clearly more and more countries believe that soda taxes are an effective strategy to lower obesity and type 2 diabetes rates. Early results from countries like Mexico show that soda taxes result in a significant reduction of soda consumption.

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11 comments

  1. martica
    Sugar tax won't do anything. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for an international tax on sales of sugar-sweetened beverages. The thinking behind such a tax is that the growing epidemic of obesity in the world is caused by sugar-sweetened soda. However, this is contrary to the WHO Medical Officer that stated, “The decrease in soda sales in Mexico (who recently imposed a sugar tax on soda) is good news, but we don’t have conclusive evidence yet on whether this is actually reducing obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

    In addition, Harvard Medical School did a comprehensive study on reducing the use of sugar-sweetened soda in obese children by replacing them with free bottled water and intensive dietary consulting. The result after two years of extensive intervention was that there was no change in the levels of obesity in these children.

    Harvard study: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1203388

  2. Bob Niland
    Thoughtful people really need to be disturbed by these tax initiatives. There are major problems:

    ? Where's the apology?
    ? This is unnecessary.
    ? What about the sugar tax addiction itself?
    ? This is dangerous precedent.

    So when did these governments apologize for decades of low-fat (implicitly high carb) advice? Sugar taxes amount to a tax for following government guidelines. They are a misdirection and in part intended to dodge liability for the catastrophic consequences of prior, still lingering, diet dogma.

    Where are the radically revised dietary guidelines? Armed with correct information, people just stop consuming added sugar. We haven't had any in the house in over 5 years, and consume no more than a few grams per week in the few processed foods we eat (high %cacao chocolate).

    Governments get addicted to collecting and squandering tax revenues. If the sugar tax is actually successful, collections will decline over time, but allocations for the loot won't. The administrative addicts will be looking for other sources.

    Absent a correction in dietary policy, you can expect additional tax and policy proposals, some serious mistakes, perhaps a tax on saturated fats, meats, and any other foods not politically correct.

    Cheering this insanity on is very likely cultural suicide.

  3. Pierre
    Sugar tax on junk drink will do something. For this simple reason : The law of demand .

    "The law of demand says that the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded, because consumers’ opportunity cost to acquire that good or service increases, and they must make more tradeoffs to acquire the more expensive product."

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/lawofdemand.asp#ixzz4NpMaKs5T

    Reply: #4
  4. jake
    Lucky Pierre, I regret to inform you that you have a very narrow economic and biological perspective as you believe that only sugar has created the current world obesity and diabetes epidemic. Sugar is a factor, but much larger factors are consumption of grains, starches and excess protein that becomes glucose via gluconeogenesis. Without a tax on the other contributing factors the sugar tax will fail, as shown in the examples provided in comment one.

    Furthermore, a high price on sugar will create a black market that will be controlled by criminal gangs. The result will be a higher cost to society due to the additional criminal activity and sugar tax evasion.

    Reply: #5
  5. Tim
    Agree, we don't need more nannies telling us what's best for us. This is an obvious manipulation of people, pretend to do something while dodging their own responsibility for the harm caused by the last time they pretended to be our nannies. ie. high carb diet

    If there were a class action malpractice lawsuit against these doctors and dietitians they would quickly forget this nonsense. The defense of just doing as they were told didn't fly for the nazis...

    Pierre, oil and gas increased in price, consumption increased...anyway, what you propose has nothing to do with the free market and everything to do with manipulating people.

  6. Pierre
    @Jake
    Where in the text I said that sugar is the only factor?

    Black market ??? , can you explain how criminal gangs are going to produce sugar drink and sell it for a profit of few cents a can ?

    @Tim

    Oil and gas price demand are short-term inelastic and long-term elastic.

    You are wrong, if you believe that a tax will not reduce the consumption of soda.

    "Research published in the British Medical Journal finds that the introduction of a 10 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks resulted in a 12 per cent reduction in sales"

  7. gbl
    Speaking of: Bottle Green flavoured water. Water.

    100 ml (approximately 3 ounces) of BOTTLE GREEN flavoured sparkling water has almost 300 calories and 72 yes SEVENTY TWO grams of sugar. (Numbers from the label on the bottle).

    Just check out the marketing smooooth on their website: http://www.bottlegreendrinks.com/

    Coconut is good for you right? And Mango. It couldn't hurt.

  8. Tim
    Oil and gas price demand are short-term inelastic and long-term elastic.

    LOL, sounds like weasel words for, 'I'm right, and you aren't'. Less to do with taxes and more to do with the free market...

    You are wrong, if you believe that a tax will not reduce the consumption of soda.

    I guess, if you think manipulation of people, by the people who advocate a high carb, low fat diet, is a good thing. Don't complain when they tax fat...

  9. Maura
    Congratulations to the entire DietDoctor team!
    Any time people start pontificating about the 'free market', I assume that someone's ox is being gored.

    I'm almost waiting for one of these commenters to recommend a soda version of 'Marlboro Man' -- who was an outdoorsy smoker back in the 1960s, who roped cattle and horses on the great plains of the US -- back when the cigarette companies were paying people off to deny all links between cigarettes and cancer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQmpqvoEpws

    Nowadays, Bollywood has terrific soda ads - this one is a bit dated, but who am I to quibble with some of Bollywood's biggest stars, back before any of them probably had the slightest clue that sugar and sodas might be bad for health?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HxyA6Xt2c8

    I look forward to the time when advertising companies, as well as Bollywood, put their talents behind fresh veggies. Judging from the alarm bells going off globally with respect to health care budgets, perhaps we'll see government-run ads for chard, carrots, lettuce, and radishes dancing to the pounding beat of a Bollywood soundtrack. That moment cannot come too soon -- and with YouTube, everyone around the globe can enjoy that spectacle. If Shah Rukh Khan wants to sing his heart out and dance alongside the veggies, so much the better!

  10. Tim
    Companies sell what they sell in a voluntary exchange...no force or coercion. Not so much so with 'official dietary recommendations' which landed us in this health crisis.
    Strangely enough, some people want more official force and coercion, while blaming the horse for the barn door being open. I guess it's a form of cognitive dissonance...
  11. Tim
    Unintended consequences of nanny interference...

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/grab-beer-philadelphia-soda-...

    Turns out when soda cost the same as beer, people choose to drink beer. That is what is happening in Philadelphia.

    The city claimed the tax revenue would fund pre-kindergarten programs. But less than half of the meager revenue is actually being put into the school system.

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