In state-sponsored efforts at behavior modification, one of the simplest ways to change consumer preference is to impose higher consumer costs on certain products. New York City in the United States has already experimented with taxes on large-sized sodas, and the British government has launched a campaign to improve public health by adding additional taxes to sugary drinks as well.
Oral health campaigners the British Dental Health Foundation believe the tax would help to reduce levels of tooth decay seen in children age 3-12, particularly as soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 4-10 years and teenagers.
Research has shown that if even modest taxes on sugary drinks are implemented, the impact in London over twenty years would be to:
- reduce the cases of diabetes by over 6,300
- prevent over 1,100 cases of cancer
- reduce strokes and cases of coronary heart disease by over 4,300
- improve the quality of life for thousands of residents
Whether you’re for or against the use of taxation to influence consumer behavior, the team at Smiles by Shields reminds you to limit your intake of sugary drinks and candies and to brush 20-40 minutes after eating to reduce the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
British Dental Health Foundation. (2014, December 22). “Sugary drinks duty will save countless teeth, charity says.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from