Is a Sugar Tax Effective?

In my previous blog, I discussed about how it is best for children to be limited to no more than twenty-five grams of sugar a day. Such a change will not only act as a preventative measure for childhood obesity, but will also ensure that these children grow up with healthy diets and continue to live healthy lifestyles as adults. So, what happens to those kids who are not brought up with a healthy diet? In today’s world, these now adults typically face major health issues. These health issues have become so serious that many governments are actually trying to step in and stop them. The number one way that these governments are trying to create healthy citizens is through imposing a sugar tax.


One country who decided to place a sugar tax (on beverages) is Mexico. In fact, according to Meera Senthilingam for CNN, this sugar tax actually proved to be successful as sales on sugary beverages fell by 6% and sales of beverages such as water increased by 4%. While Mexico saw success in this tax, other countries, like Denmark, did not. The people of Denmark would travel through country borders in order to purchase their sugary beverages. It is the overall opinion that the imposement of the sugar tax is not effective. One could propose that this type of conclusion was made through an observational study of the countries.

While it seems like a good idea for governments to impose a sugar tax for the welfare of its’ citizens, it does not seem like a good idea to me. People need to realize on their own the negative impacts of consuming excessive amounts of sugar. Instead of imposing a tax, governments should talk more about why the excessive consumption of sugar is so bad for the health of citizens. For example, many people who consume a great deal of sugary substances tend to develop Type II Diabetes. With the excessive consumption of sugar, the pancreas creates more insulin but cannot continue to keep up with it and the body’s blood glucose is not able to remain at an average level. Sugar causes the resistance of insulin therefore people who consume sugary beverages tend to get Type II Diabetes as they have an over 80% chance of developing it. I believe that if governments were able to relay this type of information to its’ citizens, the impact would have a great impact.



3 thoughts on “Is a Sugar Tax Effective?

  1. dhc5097

    This blog post provides great insight on the possible Sugar Tax. I do not think the government should step in, despite that they are trying to do the right thing and look after the health of our citizens, I believe it is the citizens responsibility to know what they are drinking and eating and to know the pros and cons and the impact that it will have on their body. Here’s an article explaining 10 reasons why sugar is bad for you.

  2. Katherine Yuen

    Your post reminded me of something my high school health and wellness teachers would always bring up- that people should be paying more attention to their daily sugar intake rather than their daily caloric intake. We watched the documentary “Fed Up” which discusses in depth why sugar is so bad for us and why so many people have no clue that sugar is even a big deal at all. I found this article which compares sugar to alcohol in that it has calories, but it doesn’t offer any nutrition, as well as the fact that it is addictive. It also talks about how, globally, the number of people with diabetes is growing faster than the number of those who are obese. It makes me wonder how possible it is that people will truly stop consuming so much sugar when it’s such a large part of our culture- one cookie can have an insane amount of added sugars, but most people don’t think twice about having one.

  3. Patrick Winch

    During the past two years, I took IB economics, and one of the things we talked about in our micro section was the difference between elastic and inelastic goods. Elastic goods are goods that we don’t necessarily need- meaning that demand for these goods decrease when price increases. Inelastic goods are the opposite, meaning that demand will remain constant despite any price increase. With that being said, different goods can be considered inelastic to different people. The article attached at the bottom talks about the practical reality of sugar addiction. For many people, sugar is somewhat of an inelastic good that even becomes addictive. To those people, perhaps a government imposed sugar tax wouldn’t be very effective.

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