Fiscal policy to improve diets and prevent noncommunicable diseases: from recommendations to action

Thow, Anne Marie, Downs, Shauna M., Mayes, Christopher, Trevena, Helen, Waqanivalu, Temo and Cawley, John 2018, Fiscal policy to improve diets and prevent noncommunicable diseases: from recommendations to action, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 96, no. 3, pp. 201-210, doi: 10.2471/BLT.17.195982.

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Title Fiscal policy to improve diets and prevent noncommunicable diseases: from recommendations to action
Author(s) Thow, Anne Marie
Downs, Shauna M.
Mayes, ChristopherORCID iD for Mayes, Christopher
Trevena, Helen
Waqanivalu, Temo
Cawley, John
Journal name Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume number 96
Issue number 3
Start page 201
End page 210
Total pages 10
Publisher World Health Organization (WHO)
Place of publication Geneva, Switzerland
Publication date 2018-03
ISSN 0042-9686
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Summary The World Health Organization has recommended that Member States consider taxing energy-dense beverages and foods and/or subsidizing nutrient-rich foods to improve diets and prevent noncommunicable diseases. Numerous countries have either implemented taxes on energy-dense beverages and foods or are considering the implementation of such taxes. However, several major challenges to the implementation of fiscal policies to improve diets and prevent noncommunicable diseases remain. Some of these challenges relate to the cross-sectoral nature of the relevant interventions. For example, as health and economic policy-makers have different administrative concerns, performance indicators and priorities, they often consider different forms of evidence in their decision-making. In this paper, we describe the evidence base for diet-related interventions based on fiscal policies and consider the key questions that need to be asked by both health and economic policy-makers. From the health sector's perspective, there is most evidence for the impact of taxes and subsidies on diets, with less evidence on their impacts on body weight or health. We highlight the importance of scope, the role of industry, the use of revenue and regressive taxes in informing policy decisions.
Language eng
DOI 10.2471/BLT.17.195982
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
111708 Health and Community Services
111104 Public Nutrition Intervention
140208 Health Economics
220101 Bioethics (Human and Animal)
220199 Applied Ethics not elsewhere classified
11 Medical And Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, World Health Organization
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