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 24 October 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.
Please note, $ refers to USD.
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Soft drinks, both imported and locally produced, have been taxed in Samoa since 1984. From 1984 until 2008, the excise tax amounted to 0.3 Samoan Tala per litre (around $0.12); in 2008 the rate changed to 0.4 Samoan Tala per litre (around $0.17).
In 2007, Samoa imposed a ban on high fat turkey tails. In 2012 the ban was lifted when Samoa joined the World Trade Organization and a 300% import duty was set for two years followed by a 100% import duty.
Thow AM et al. (2010) Taxing soft drinks in the Pacific: implementation lessons for improving health. Health Promotion International 26(1), 55-64
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).
We are all influenced by the food that is available and affordable when we grow up, and the habits of the people around us. That’s why people in different countries and communities consume differently. We know that when the food supply changes, so does what people eat. This is why we need to improve the quality of the food supply. Evidence from salt reduction indicates that people’s tastes can change.
In 2011, Samoa banned the sale of turkey tails and turkey tail products (Sale of Turkey Tails Prohibition Order 2001, Section 7A), which replaced an import ban of turkey tails. The import ban had to be lifted to enable Samoa to join the World Trade Organization.