We developed the NOURISHING framework to highlight where governments need to take action to promote healthy diets and reduce overweight and obesity.
The framework is accompanied by a regularly updated database (last updated 21 February 2018), providing an extensive overview of implemented government policy actions from around the world.
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Empirical estimates show that food prices influence, to a varying degree, how much food people buy. Targeted subsidies have been shown to help overcome affordability barriers to healthy food for people on low incomes. Incentives, like financial rewards or price discounts, have also been shown to encourage people to switch to healthier options.
Emerging evidence from implemented taxes, as well as modelling studies, indicate the potential for effectiveness to reduce consumption. Given food choices are influenced by a whole host of factors, especially in modern, complex food markets, taxes must be designed very carefully to maximise effectiveness.
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These countries have all introduced import duties on either soft drinks or sugar; Nauru also taxes high-sugar food. These are either charged ad valorem (Cook Islands – 15% with a subsequent 2% rise per year, since 2013; Fiji – 32%, since 2011; Micronesia – 25%, since 2004; Nauru – 30%, since 2007) or on a certain volume or weight of goods (French Polynesia – around $0.68 per litre for imported drinks, since 2002; Samoa – around $0.17 per litre, since 2008).
Thow AM et al. (2010) Taxing soft drinks in the Pacific: implementation lessons for improving health. Health Promotion International 26(1), 55-64