Taxing to reduce obesity

Emilio Gutierrez (ITAM)
Speaker

Emilio Gutierrez

Date
Monday 10 May 2021, 17:30 - 18:30
Location

Zoom

Registration Add to calendar

We measure the effects of two federal taxes in Mexico aimed at reducing obesity by taxing sugary drinks (SDs) and high caloric foods (HCFs).

We use a weekly scanner panel dataset with more than 58,721 product barcodes. We find 6 percent lower SD consumption but no decrease in HCFs consumption. We find substantial substitution towards non-taxed goods, smaller unit sizes, and in the case of HCFs to higher calorie per gram foods. Overall, sugar consumption decreased 2 percent, saturated fat and cholesterol increased 2 and 6 percent, but total calories remained unchanged. Available evidence shows no effect on BMI.