According to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, increasing the price of soda by 18 percent would result in a decrease in overall sales, leading to fewer calories a day for regular soda-drinkers.
For years, nutrition experts have recommended a federal tax on soda and other sugary drinks to cut consumption of high-calorie, unhealthy drinks and to help obese Americans lose weight.
Just for the sake of argument, let's accept the following propositions as being true: An obese individual confers a negative externality upon others. Taking this as a given, here are my questions:
- Why is it to be believed that the obese (or potentially obese) are unaware of the social consequences of their weight? This explanation is necessary to justify an obesity motivated tax on Pigouvian grounds.
- How would you reconcile this argument with the near universal view that society places too much emphasis on body image?