LONDON (AP) — A new study suggests the fattest country in Western Europe could realize health benefits by enacting a 20 percent tax on soda.
Researchers at Oxford University and the University of Reading estimate Britain could cut the number of obese adults by about 180,000.
Though the number works out to a modest drop of 1.3 percent in obesity, scientists say it would still be worthwhile. About one in four of Britain's 63 million people is obese.
Researchers estimate the tax on soft drinks would reduce sales by 15 percent. They said the tax would have the biggest impact on people under 30, who drink more sugary drinks than anyone else. The study was published online in the journal, BMJ.
One study author, Mike Rayner of Oxford, acknowledges the government might shy away from such a hefty tax at a time when the economy is still shaky.