Friday, May 26, 2023

Taxes have reduced consumption of sugary drinks

– Brent Hoffker /

It’s a fact, sodas and industrial drinks containing refined sugar are bad for your health. Faced with this situation, some regions of the world have decided to implement a “soda tax”. A new study has shown that this tax on sweetened drinks has improved the health of the population in the regions concerned.

What is soda tax?

A sweetened beverage tax or soda tax is a tax or surcharge specifically designed to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks. Beverages that are subject to the sweetened beverage tax often include soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and any other type of beverage that contains refined sugar. This tax is applied in many areas of the world, including France and Belgium, in the form of an excise duty.

As you might expect, this tax is a subject of public debate in many countries and beverage producers often oppose it. Although this effort to reduce obesity and reduce the health effects of being overweight is relevant, so far there is no scientific evidence supporting the benefits of such a tax. However, a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, may change that. The latter showed that the soda tax actually improved the health of the population.

Actually, according to the results of the study published in the journal PLOS MedicineIn 2010, the implementation of a soda tax in Oakland resulted in a significant decrease in consumption of sugary drinks in the city, which improved the diet and health of the local population. Notably, since the tax was implemented in Oakland in 2017, purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages have dropped 26.8% through 2019 compared to other cities where said tax is not in effect.

Taxes Have Reduced Consumption Of Sugary Drinks
Sweet Water
– Success Images/

significant effect on health

This decline in sugary drink consumption was related not only to soft drinks, but also to industrial fruit juices, sports drinks and sweetened teas. Furthermore, declines in consumption of sweetened beverages were observed in both high-income and low-income areas. Next, the researchers used computer modeling to estimate how reducing purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages would affect community health.

For this purpose, he developed the QALY indicator (from the English quality-adjusted life years ” Or ” quality-adjusted life years “). They found that a 26.8% drop in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption over 10 years added 94 QALYs per 10,000 of the population. And in turn saved more than $100,000 in health care costs per 10,000 people.

, These results suggest that a tax on sugary drinks could lead to substantial improvements in diet and health; and generate substantial savings over an extended period, which makes the case for a national tax on sugary drinks “, Said Dean Schillingerlead author of the study, in a statement.

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