Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say yes, using a sophisticated microsimulation model to predict impacts of the tax. In a report released last month, the Harvard researchers calculated the proposed soda tax in Philadelphia would prevent 2,280 cases of diabetes each year once the tax is fully implemented. The Harvard microsimulation model assumes lower consumption if the city implements the three cents tax per ounce of sugar-sweetened beverage, a 49 percent price increase.

The New York Court of Appeals in June 2014 overturned New York City's highly publicized soda ban that limited purchases of fountain drinks to 16-ounce cups in an attempt to reduce constituents' consumption of soda.  Most states have levied taxes on soda purchase intending to influence consumer choices, promote public health and generate revenue. 

The United States has a “growing” problem—an ongoing obesity crisis in both the young and old. This session offered a unique multidisciplinary approach to the problems. Panelists explored elements of the policymaking process that led to obesity programs in various states. Speakers discussed educational reforms, transportation developments, land use changes and food industry initiatives. Unknown Object State Approaches to Obesity Reduction September 19, 2013 The United States has a “growing” problem—an ongoing obesity crisis in both...

The United States has a “growing” problem—an ongoing obesity crisis in both the young and old. This session offered a unique multidisciplinary approach to the problems. Panelists explored elements of the policymaking process that led to obesity programs in various states. Speakers discussed educational reforms, transportation developments, land use changes and food industry initiatives.

The United States has a “growing” problem—an ongoing obesity crisis in both the young and old. This session offered a unique multidisciplinary approach to the problems. Panelists explored elements of the policymaking process that led to obesity programs in various states. Speakers discussed educational reforms, transportation developments, land use changes and food industry initiatives.

There still are a lot of obese Americans, but there also are a lot of options for states trying to help them get healthier.

Janet Collins, director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told attendees at Thursday’s “State Approaches to Obesity Reduction” session that obesity rates for children have tripled since 1980. But for low-income preschool children, the rate is finally dropping.

State Approaches to Obesity Reduction
Thursday, September 19, 2013
 
The United States has a “growing” problem—an ongoing obesity crisis in both the young and old. This session offered a unique multidisciplinary approach to the problems. Panelists explored elements of the policymaking process that led to obesity programs in various states. Speakers discussed educational reforms, transportation developments, land use changes and food industry initiatives.
 

In 2011, 63 percent of adults in the United States were overweight or obese.1 Individuals who are overweight or obese have increased risks of developing conditions such as heart disease, type II diabetes and stroke.2 Obesity adds an estimated $147 billion to U.S. health care expenditures each year.3 Cost estimates cover Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers and include inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug costs. States are taking action by incorporating anti-obesity measures into their transportation and education policies.

As the nation faces up to the growing obesity epidemic, a variety of players are stepping forward to focus on the delivery of healthful nutritious food at reasonable prices. Key players in the food and restaurant industry are doing their part to shape the food environment and help consumers make smarter choices, especially at young ages when lifelong habits and impressions are molded. They say they are showing that helping each customer make informed healthy choices more easily is a simple yet powerful tool to help combat obesity.

The trend of obesity in low-income children in the United States may be improving. Obesity is a serious disease because it impacts both the physical and mental health of children. It increases risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Obese preschoolers are at a higher risk of becoming obese adults. Young obese children face societal and psychological difficulties, such as low self-esteem. Childhood obesity also is associated with premature death and high costs for health care.

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