Miek Yardley writes at Stuff:
Interestingly, one of the first governments in the world to impose a tax on soda drinks was the State of Arkansas, in 1992, just as Governor Clinton was packing his bags for the White House.
Two button-busting decades on, has the tax helped turn the tide on obesity in Arkansas?
No, the state’s obesity rate has doubled to 34.5 per cent, the third highest in the United States.
A tax would have to be at massively high levels to significantly change consumer behaviour. The history of such taxes tends to be they just raise revenue for the Government, but have little impact on consumption. The exception is tobacco – but as I said, the tax has to be at a massively high level – which tobacco excise tax is.