Another Study Demonstrates the Positive Impact of Soda Taxes

Drinking soda and other sugary beverages is not good for you. An occasional soda is fine, but regular intake has all kinds of negative consequences. Sugar sweetened soft-drinks have been linked with obesity, diabetes, belly fat accumulation, and heart disease, among other things. So, policy-makers have been considering ways to reduce soda intake in the United States, and a number of cities have adopted taxes on sugary beverages. Opponents argue that such taxes will increase the price, without reducing consumption substantially, but that doesn't appear to be true. The new soda taxes seem to be working as intended.

We reported here and here about research on the issue and both studies found that soda taxes do reduce consumption. And, now a new peer reviewed study published in the journal Economics and Human Biology has found that the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages fell by more than 30% in Seattle after the city adopted a tax of 1.75 cents per fluid ounce on such beverages. The researchers then compared their results to sales in Portland, which has no such tax. The sale of sugar-sweetened beverages also fell in Portland, but by far less than in Seattle [30% vs. 10%].

Seattle Times: “From a public health perspective, this is good,” said Jim Krieger, a University of Washington professor who heads the nonprofit Healthy Food America. “People are purchasing less sugary drinks, and we know that sugary drinks are associated with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and strokes.”

There is a bit of bad news, however, from this study and others. Soda taxes seem to reduce consumption in the first few years and then sales stabilize at lower levels. More research is needed to determine exactly why that happens.

#health #news #research

By: Don Lam & Curated Content


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