Abstract

Do you like eating junk food? While it might taste great, it’s highly processed food which can lead to obesity. Obesity is a problem not only in richer countries, where people have higher incomes but also in poorer countries, where at the same time many people are underweight. We wanted to see if a tax on highly processed foods could have an effect on obesity rates. To evaluate that we used import tariffs as a measurement tool and created a statistical model. We found out that increasing the price difference between healthier foods and highly processed foods could be a useful step toward reducing obesity in some countries, but could also worsen the issue with underweight, sometimes even within the same country.

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About this article

Summary of research
Scientists wanted to know if a tax on highly processed foods could have an effect on obesity rates, especially in poorer countries.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
February 2020

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