In the most recent issue of the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) Magazine (pg 8) features some work by Vincent Requillart and Celine Bonnet on ability of nutrient taxes (like soda taxes) to fight obesity.
Soda and sugar taxes don't always have the anticipated effect:
The point out that the effects of a sugared-soda tax are small, and that the actual policy passed in France (taxing all sweetened drinks - even those with artificial sweeteners) would not be expected to reduce weight.
They seem to favor voluntary arrangements between food companies and the government to reduce sugar and salt content. Even still, in places like the UK, where such an approach has been taken, the effect appears to be virtually nil.
One of the challenges is the complexity of it all
For a more in depth and academic treatment of the topic, you might check out some of the published work by these authors.