Preventing obesity is a high priority for Australian governments. While individuals have a responsibility to manage their own diet and weight, governments also have a role to play. Governments can enable individual health promoting behaviours through a range of means including: the physical environment (for example, by providing access to cycle paths that are safe), economic incentives (for example, by imposing taxes on unhealthy foods), policies (for example, by funding health services that help people lose weight), and social-cultural factors (for example, advertising campaigns designed to change attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, values and norms of the societal or cultural group). This paper considers the evidence regarding economic incentives in the form of targeted taxes and subsidies on food and beverages.
Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association 2012