A growing body of research has established an empirical link between consumption of sugary beverages and numerous health problems. Yet, while few people disagree that reduced consumption of sugary beverages is a desirable goal for American society, many people disagree about how to reduce it. This Comment argues that a proposed sin tax on sugary beverages is sound policy, and Congress should implement the tax in order to combat and address the obesity epidemic because (1) consumers are subject to cognitive and informational defects that affect consumers’ abilities to make the best welfare-generating decisions, and (2) sugary-beverage consumption causes healthcare-related externalities that the current price of sugary beverages do not reflect.
Jonathan Cummings, Obesity and Unhealthy Consumption: The Public-Policy Case for Placing a Federal Sin Tax on Sugary Beverages, 34 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 273 (2010).