What is known about the effectiveness of economic instruments to reduce consumption of foods high in saturated fats and other energy-dense foods for preventing and treating obesity?

    Publication year: 2006

    Overweight and obesity are increasingly prevalent in Europe. In the European Region, the growing prevalence of overweight – a body mass index (BMI) over 25 kg/m2 – ranges from about 25% to 75% of the adult population. Up to a third of the adult population, about 130 million people, are obese – with a BMI over 30 kg/m2. Overweight and obesity are also increasingly prevalent among children. This synthesis summarizes the available evidence concerning the effectiveness of economic instruments (including taxes, price policies and incentives) in containing or reducing food consumption, particularly of foods high in saturated fats and other energy-dense foods.