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Useful proof that a sugar tax doesn’t work

Of course, if you want the details you need to be reading Chris Snowdon. But a useful little pencil sketch here:

US agriculture officials on Friday proposed new nutrition standards for school meals, including the first limits on added sugars, with a focus on limiting sweetened foods such as cereals, yogurt, flavored milk and breakfast pastries.

Well, OK, think of that what we will. But sugar in the US is twice the world price. Therefore taxing sugar to twice the world price would not achieve the goal of limiting sugar in foodstuffs, would it?

11 thoughts on “Useful proof that a sugar tax doesn’t work”

  1. I’m open to correction but I have the suspicion that the US taxes/subsidises sucrose (ordinary sugar) in one way and High Fructose Corn Syrup in another. Much HFCS is close to 50:50 glucose and fructose which makes it pretty close to what sucrose becomes in your stomach after enzyme and acid act on it. The HCFS has the advantage of tasting sweeter to your palate and being cheaper.

    Some of the immature adults who sluice down lots of brown sugar water claim to prefer the taste of sucrose. Whether blind trials have ever been performed I don’t know. They’d be pretty cheap to do. Hell you could do them as a school project.

  2. How long before they start mandating a certain percentage of the kids daily intake has to come from insects or insect protein?

    As Snowdon points out, the science behind a lot of these anti-sugar or anti-salt drives is ropey at best, with little to no data supporting them.

    There is also the question about the authoritarian nature of this – by what right do they have to dictate to people what they eat? Who voted for this kind of paternalistic bullshit? And how do we vote them out?

    Here in the UK (despite Brexit™), we seem to be suffering from the same sorts of prodnoses who are on a semi-religious crusade to impose their twisted beliefs on the rest of us.

    It looks to me like we need to slash and burn large swathes of the state in order to get these busybodies into more gainful employment.

  3. Much HFCS is close to 50:50 glucose and fructose which makes it pretty close to what sucrose becomes in your stomach after enzyme and acid act on it.
    Which is part of the route the digestive system uses to digest starches. So why not tax bread?
    You have demand problem not a supply problem. It’s why diets never really work. You’re attacking the supply side when the demand side’s your problem

  4. What gets me is the people who want to bring in this shit. Politicians & health campaigners. You ever seen such a bunch of porkers? They’ve never been hungry in their entire lives. They eat because they haven’t stuffed anything in the top end 9f their digestive tract for a couple of hours. They have no self control themselves but they want to impose it on others.

  5. Surprised to watch a Canuck dairy farmer pouring milk down the drain due hitting the quota imposed on his farm by Dustbin and saying it cost him CA$0.90c a litre to produce but was CA$7 in the supermarket!!!

  6. “…get these busybodies into more gainful employment.”

    I suggest power stations that consist of large buildings containing row upon row of stationary bicycles hooked up to generators.

  7. @Addoff
    Somebody should have asked him why he didn’t hie off to the nearest city and sell his wares at C$7 then. If it was regulations, then he has identified government as the source of his problems. Also, how much would he be getting for his milk without the cartel limiting production? The middlemen are there for a reason.

    Full disclosure: my dad was a dairy farmer.

  8. You can’t say that something doesn’t work without reference to what it is intended to do – a bit like Chesterton’s fence. In the UK the sugar tax has caused manufacturers to reformulate drinks to reduce the sugar content, so there are now significantly fewer which have no artificial sweeteners and more which have less sugare but more artificial sweeteners.

    And, of course, the proposal here is about sweetened foods, not sweet foods. It’s a kind of magical thinking – sugar added to something is somehow different to sugar naturally occurring in it.

  9. Not sure where the farmer was as $7 a litre is expensive for milk, premium brand organic (pretty packaging) single litre pack maybe from a small store

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