Analysis reveals new proof that sugary beverage tax impacts are sustainable, efficient

Tax in Seattle shows long-term reduction in demand and added sugars sold

Two new research printed by researchers on the College of Illinois Chicago present proof that public insurance policies to scale back consumption of added sugars by way of taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks are efficient and sustainable.

Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, juice, and vitality and sports activities drinks, are the most important contributor of added sugars in American diets. Overconsumption of added sugars considerably contributes to weight problems and is related to comorbidities like diabetes, which might enhance most cancers dangers and lead to extra extreme COVID-19 sickness. At the moment, greater than 50% of adults and 65% of kids devour extra added sugars than really helpful.

Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, typically referred to as soda taxes, purpose to offer monetary incentives to shoppers selecting more healthy drinks whereas additionally funding public well being packages.

The analysis crew has been learning the implementation of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes all through the U.S. and the brand new research analyzed information from Seattle, the place the tax was applied in 2018. The Seattle information was in contrast with information from Portland, Oregon, a metropolis of comparable dimension and demographics however with no sugar-sweetened beverage tax.

Whereas we and others have printed numerous research on the short-term results of SSB taxes the place they’ve been applied within the U.S., these taxes are nonetheless comparatively new, and we’d like scientific information on longer-term impacts to grasp if the insurance policies have the potential to generate sustained public well being advantages,” stated research lead creator Lisa Powell, distinguished professor and director of well being coverage and administration within the UIC Faculty of Public Well being.

The research are the primary to comprehensively consider the tax’s long-term impression throughout all retailer sorts and throughout all drinks and sweets bought.

The researchers obtained Nielsen retail scanner information on unit gross sales and unit measurements, like fluid ounces or grams, of sugary drinks, sweets, and stand-alone sugar merchandise in Seattle and Portland. Knowledge included all gross sales from the out there pattern of meals shops inclusive of supermarkets and mass merchandise shops, in addition to grocery, drug, comfort and greenback shopsoverlaying about 45% of all meals retailer gross sales.

In a Journal of Public Well being Coverage research titled “Influence of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax two-year post-tax implementation in Seattle, Washington, United States,” Powell’s crew seemed particularly on the financial impacts of the tax after two years.

Evaluation confirmed: the costs of taxed drinks elevated by 1.04 cents per ounce, comparable to a 59% tax pass-through price; the amount bought of taxed drinks fell by 22%; and no cross-border procuring.

A JAMA Community Open research titled “Analysis of Adjustments in Grams of Sugar Offered After the Implementation of the Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax” targeted on the impression of the tax on estimates of sugar bought after two years.

The researchers discovered that one yr and two years after implementation, the tax created a 23% discount in grams of sugar bought from taxed drinks. And whereas the evaluation confirmed some offset from substitutions — a 4% enhance in sugar bought from sweets?in each years and an preliminary enhance in grams of sugar bought from untaxed drinks within the first yr solely — there was a web 19% discount in grams of sugar bought from taxed drinks at two-years post-tax.

“Our research present that even after accounting for potential substitution behaviors, like cross-border procuring or collection of different gadgets with added sugars, these taxes have a big, sustained impression on decreasing quantity and grams of sugar bought from sugary drinks,” Powell stated. “This means that taxes might completely cut back the demand for sugary drinks and assist to decrease charges of well being harms which can be related to added sugars.”

Julien Leider is a co-author of each research. Vanessa Oddo is a co-author of the JAMA Community Open research. Funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Arnold Ventures Philanthropy supported the analysis.

In December 2020, Powell’s group was awarded new analysis funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Meals Coverage Program to broaden this analysis to?lead and help analysis work in 5 key diet coverage areas: the federal Supplemental Diet Help Program, diet warning labels, retail meals advertising, restaurant meals and beverage choices, and diet requirements and meals and beverage choices in colleges and public universities.

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