Using a Health Policy Model to Develop a Change in Policy to Improve the Public’s Health

Health policies should be put in place to help fight diseases associated with unhealthy foods. Sugared beverages lack supplementary nutrients and are causes of many health complications. The implementation of taxes on sugared beverages has a positive impact on the health of people as it encourages the reduction of consumption of these products (Han & Powell, 2013).  Consuming these drinks is associated with the risk of diabetes and weight gain. Sugared products have also been associated with among the risk factors contributing to the development of heart diseases and obesity and its associated complications (Basu, Seligman, Gardner & Bhattacharya, 2014). As a means of promoting health, increased taxes are meant to reduce the purchase of the products by charging a high premium of the products compared to substitute healthy products. The tax on such products has the potential to contribute to savings in the cost of treating the conditions associated with the consumption of sugared products. The revenue collected by the government may also be used to promote health initiatives to the public and improve the health care system (Han & Powell, 2013). 

On the other hand, those who are opposed to the tax argue that taxing sugary beverages disproportionally distresses poor people. Paying more on sugared beverages will, in turn, mean that they will have to use even less on healthy foods (Basu et al., 2014). Some of these taxes do not reflect in the retail prices; hence the companies may absorb a portion of the price increase. The government may fail to use that tax in addressing the health issue an only add it to the overall national revenue (Trujillo, 2015). The opponents may also argue that the taxes do not give the intended result of reducing consumption and when they do the result is not much (Basu et al., 2014).

There is a need to have the necessary support from the community members in order to initiate the proposed policies. Enough buy-ins are required from people to ensure the change is achieved. The first step in using the Longest’s policy cycle model would be to formulate a clear idea on how to convince the major stakeholders on the adverse effects of consuming sugared products and how taxing can help in reducing the consumption problem (Trujillo, 2015). Explaining and showing the stakeholders the value of taxation on the overall health of the citizens will secure the commitment of the stakeholders to help in implementing the proposed solution. In the stakeholders’ meetings, it is essential to be prepared to compromise by using the feedback from the public engagements to demonstrate that the viewpoints of the people does matter. During the planning and implementation, it is essential that the implementers update the stakeholders on a regular basis on the progress challenges and areas that need improvement (McDaid, Oliver &Merkur, 2014)

Different stakeholder groups can be involved to achieve the proposed policy (Trujillo, 2015). They will help in decision making and also influence the implementation of the policy. Some may support and others oppose the process. The stakeholders involved in the process of implementing taxation of sugared beverages are industry leaders, the government agencies, legislators and directors who are in charge of pricing and the general public (Wilde et al., 2018)

In conclusion, taxation should be a major strategy in fighting the consumption of unhealthy foods. The revenues should be channeled to help educate the public on the effects of sugared beverages and advise them on the importance of consuming healthy foods.

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