It takes bold policy to change behavior that leads to obesity

LAST SUNDAY’S editorial “Sugary treats: The tax man cometh’’ supports a proposed 6.25 percent state sales tax on soda and candy, since it would raise revenues at a time when we need it as well as “help persuade kids to eat less’’ of these sugary foods. The Legislature needs to follow the governor’s lead and pass the tax immediately, as have most other states.

Regardless of the additional income it would provide for the state, however, an increased tax on soda and candy is an example of the bold policy initiatives needed to reduce childhood obesity. Improving children’s health depends not just on visits to pediatricians and a good health system, but on a set of policy changes that have been shown to lead to changes in behavior.

Deborah Klein Walker