Food subsidies and taxes significantly improve dietary choices. BOSTON (March 1, 2017)—A new systematic review and meta-analysis finds that lowering the cost of healthy foods significantly increases their consumption, while raising the cost of unhealthy items significantly reduces their intake.
While everyone has a sense that food prices matter, the magnitude of impact of food taxes and subsidies on dietary intakes, and whether this varies by the food target, has not been clear. For the review, a team of researchers identified and pooled findings from a total of 30 interventional and longitudinal studies, including 11 that assessed the effect of higher prices (taxation) of unhealthy foods and 19 that assessed the effect of lower prices (subsidies) of healthy foods. The findings were published in PLOS ONE on March 1. “To date, evidence on effectiveness of fiscal policies on diet has mostly come from cross-sectional studies, which cannot infer causality. “The global food system is causing a staggering toll on human health. The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Equity and Noncommunicable Disease Reduction under the Sustainable Development Goals.
This article explores the trade-offs between cost-effectiveness and reducing health inequities. Focusing on the SDG target of reducing premature mortality from NCDs, the authors argue that reducing health inequities should be prioritised over maximising cost-effectiveness and that this is complex, requiring additional guidance. – mcquillan_ruth
PLOS Medicine: Pragmatic Trials for Noncommunicable Diseases: Relieving Constraints. Citation: Patel A, Webster R (2016) Pragmatic Trials for Noncommunicable Diseases: Relieving Constraints.
PLoS Med 13(3): e1001986. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001986 Published: March 29, 2016 Copyright: © 2016 Patel, Webster. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: AP is supported by an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship [APP1079301] ( and RW is supported by a National Heart Foundation of Australia Post-doctoral Fellowship  ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: I have read the journal's policy and have the following conflicts: AP and RW are investigators in an ongoing program of research relating to use of cardiovascular polypills. Author Contributions. Report: Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020. Article: World Health Organization Reform: Lessons Learned from the Ebola Epidemic. Article: The Challenges of Global Health Governance. Read Excerpt Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press Release Date May 2010 32 pages Share A revolution in global health has occurred in the past ten to fifteen years, resulting in the creation of radically new regimes, an unprecedented growth in funding for global health, and the growing influence of policymakers, activists, and philanthropists who viewed global health as a foreign policy issue of first-order importance.
This Working Paper, sponsored by CFR's International Institutions and Global Governance program, examines the complicated landscape of global health governance, assesses the capabilities of existing institutions, and recommends more effective strategies for policy implementation. Introduction Three crises in 2009 revealed the inadequacy of global health governance. Transcript of speech: WHO Director-General addresses health promotion conference. Online learning resource: Global Tobacco Control. Interview: BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Susan Jebb - Engaging with the food industry. Article: Food policies for healthy populations and healthy economies. Article: The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Article: The global epidemic of obesity: an overview. Report: Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. Article: Food industry: friend or foe? Article: Improving diet and physical activity: 12 lessons from controlling tobacco smoking.
Article: The origins, development, effects, and future of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: a personal perspective. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Title: Global Health Governance at a Crossroads. WHO web page: Noncommunicable diseases and mental health. Article: The road to 25×25: how can the five-target strategy reach its goal? Figure Models for prevention of non-communicable diseases The elements covered by the standard model are in standard type.
The missing elements are in italics. SES=socioeconomic status. NCDs=non-communicable diseases. See all References6 but the other missing NCDs have not. See all References9 See all References27 See all References27 provides a lever for moving NCDs from a peripheral to a central concern for global development. The comprehensive approach we propose aims to tackle deficiencies in the standard approach by broadening it to include morbidity, other major NCDs (eg, mental health, neurological disease, musculoskeletal disease), and other important causes of NCDs (eg, infections and occupational and environmental exposures), including the causes of the causes (eg, urban design, development, agribusiness inequality, and poverty), and by developing innovative, affordable, and sustainable health-care-system responses.
We declare that we have no conflicts of interest. Report: Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014.