Perhaps buoyed by the recent interest in alcohol pricing, a possible “fat tax” is moving up the policy agenda. Ahead of the 65th World Health Assembly taking place in Geneva on 21-26 May 2012, the BMJ website reports on expert comments relating to the health effects of food taxes.
Detailed policy models do not exist, but their basic structure would be similar to that of Sheffield’s alcohol pricing model; price and cross-price elasticities determine demand, consumption, harm and health effects. Recent work by HEDS has estimated risk equations relating to the health effects of obesity, whilst other work has looked at the associated issue of exercise.
But do policy makers have the appetite for the work to be done?