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US researchers estimate that an 18 % tax on pizza and soda can push down U.S. adults' calorie intake enough to lower their average weight by 2 kg per year.

The researchers, writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday, suggested taxing could be used as a weapon in the fight against obesity, which costs the United States an estimated $147 billion a year in health costs.

"While such policies will not solve the obesity epidemic in its entirety and may face considerable opposition from food manufacturers and sellers, they could prove an important strategy to address overconsumption, help reduce energy intake and potentially aid in weight loss and reduced rates of diabetes among U.S. adults," wrote the team led by Kiyah Duffey of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

With two-thirds of Americans either overweight or obese, policymakers are increasingly looking at taxing as a way to address obesity on a population level.

California and Philadelphia have introduced legislation to tax soft drinks to try to limit consumption.

CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden supports taxes on soft drinks, as does the American Heart Association.

There are early signs that such a policy works.

Ref: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6275T720100308
 
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