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Tax soft drinks to fight obesity: experts

world Updated: Sep 18, 2009 01:29 IST

More US health experts called for taxing sweetened soft drinks saying such taxes could fight obesity and be used to fund public health efforts.

New York City health commissioner Dr Thomas Farley, nutritionist Dr Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, Kelly Brownell, an obesity expert at Yale University in Connecticut and others said current taxes do not go far enough.

“We propose an excise tax of one per cent per ounce for any beverages that have any added caloric sweetener,” they wrote in their proposal, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

They said studies have shown taxes could cut consumption just enough — by about 1 gram of sugar per ounce.

They noted that people are drinking more sweet drinks and the obesity rate is surging.