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Is the sugar tax cutting teeth extractions among the young?

Graham Watson

17th November 2023

The first studies of dental health in children after the introduction of the sugar tax reveal that there's been a decline in the number of teeth being extracted in the under-10s. However, before leaping to the conclusion that this is unequivocally a good thing, I'd be more cautious than the Guardian in suggesting that this gives grounds for increased intervention to tackle all public health related problems.

Remember that good economics balances marginal cost and marginal benefit and that every intervention has an opportunity cost above all else. Also think about the unintended consequences of intervening and ask whether every issue can be dealt with this way.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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