A recent study in The Journal of Consumer Affairs has shown that health warning labels on food are more effective in reducing consumption of unhealthy foods than a fat tax. This seems to be because a moderate tax increase doesn’t make a big enough price increase to deter many consumers. In some cases a fat tax can even have unintended consequences, encouraging more bulk buying of unhealthy products to make savings to offset the tax. The health warnings resulted in a reduction in consumption even in the group with largest BMI.
In the future will we see a picture of a muffin top on our muffins?