This study modelled the impact on chronic disease of a tax on UK food and drink that internalises the wider costs to society of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to estimate the potential revenue. The authors conclude that incorporating the societal cost of GHG into the price of foods could save 7,770 lives in the UK each year, reduce food-related GHG emissions and generate substantial tax revenue. The revenue neutral scenario demonstrates that sustainability and health goals are not always aligned. Future work should focus on investigating the health impact by population subgroup and on designing fiscal strategies to promote both sustainable and healthy diets.
Public health Assessing the impact on chronic disease of incorporating the societal cost of greenhouse gases into the price of food: an econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study Authors: Adam D M Briggs, Ariane Kehlbacher, Richard Tiffin, Tara Garnett, Mike Rayner, Peter Scarborough BMJ Open 2013;3:e003543 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003543