US reveals new evidence of effective sugary beverage tax impacts

02 December 2021 | News

Tax in US shows long-term reduction in demand and added sugars sold image credit- shutterstock image credit- shutterstock

Two new studies published by researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago provide evidence that public policies to reduce consumption of added sugars through taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages are effective and sustainable.

Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, juice, and energy and sports drinks, are the largest contributor of added sugars in American diets. Overconsumption of added sugars significantly contributes to obesity and is associated with comorbidities like diabetes, which can increase cancer risks and result in more severe COVID-19 illness. Currently, more than 50% of adults and 65% of children consume more added sugars than recommended.

Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, often called soda taxes, aim to provide financial incentives to consumers choosing healthier beverages while also funding public health programs.

The researchers found that one year and two years after implementation, the tax created a 23% reduction in grams of sugar sold from taxed beverages. There was a net 19% reduction in grams of sugar sold from taxed beverages at two-years post-tax.

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