Small Soda Taxes Might Not Make a Dent in Childhood Obesity

Small taxes on soda do little to reduce soft drink consumption or prevent childhood obesity, but larger levies probably would, according to new research.

The study is being released as a recent wave of proposals would raise soda taxes or create new ones on sugared beverages. But they'll have to be a lot steeper than current taxes, which are generally 4 percent or less, in order to work.

The researchers used information from a 2004 national survey of about 7,300 fifth-graders. They looked at how the children's height and weight had changed over the previous two years and how often the kids said they drank soda and sports drinks. The researchers also reviewed taxes on carbonated drinks that were in effect in 2004.

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