Government revenue weighed heavily in anti-obesity beverage tax webinar

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ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom yesterday participated in a webinar whose ostensible aim was a discussion of the efficacy of taxing sugary beverages as a weapon in the fight against obesity. But rather than discussing the pros and cons of such a tax, participants focused mostly on generating revenue through taxes on soda and sweetened juice.

“There were no questions about the wisdom of the tax — except from me — and they weren’t answered,” says Dr. Bloom. “There were about six speakers, each more sanctimonious than the previous one. While public health programs were generally supposed to be the major beneficiaries of the funding, one speaker actually mentioned that revenues generated could be used for road improvement. This was not a meeting to discuss the issue. It was a foregone conclusion.”

The webinar was hosted by the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity.