24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Nutrition
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Stay Away From Sugary Sodas, Spare Your HeartKnives: Essential Equipment for Healthy Food PrepHealthy Cooking on a BudgetHeart-Breaking News for Egg LoversAre Enhanced Waters Better for Your Health?Spring Ahead With Spring VegetablesThe Saturated Fat Debate Rages OnHealthy Diet Might Not Lower Dementia RiskDoes Your Family Eat Out a Lot? Watch Your Blood PressureNutritional Supplements Don't Ward Off Depression: StudySlow Down! Eating Too Fast Can Pile on the PoundsTry This Healthy Makeover for a Favorite Fast FoodHealthy Diet While Young, Healthy Brain in Middle AgeHow to Get Your Calcium If You're Lactose-IntolerantWhen it Comes to Diet, Not All Plants Are Created EqualRecipe for a Healthy Heart: Big Breakfasts, Less TVThe Right Way to Cook High-Antioxidant VeggiesLow-Carb Diets Linked to Higher Odds for A-FibHow Much Coffee Is OK?Health Tip: Foods that Reduce InflammationSocial Media 'Influencers' Can Get Kids Eating Junk FoodFast Food Delivers Even More Calories Than Decades AgoCooking With Whole GrainsEasy Recipes for Your Food ProcessorThe 411 on Nutritious, Tasty SeedsAdding Breakfast to Classrooms May Have a Health DownsideSupermarket Smarts: How to Save Money and Eat BetterBerkeley's Efforts Suggest Soda Taxes Do Cut Soda SalesGo Nuts Over NutsFast Food Versus Fast Casual -- Which Has More Calories?High-Fat Diets Do No Favors for Your Gut BacteriaHealth Tip: 10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Eat HealthierHealth Tip: Eat Less SaltRoasted Root Veggies Make a Hearty Winter SoupAHA News: Living Near Convenience Stores Could Raise Risk of Artery-Clogging ConditionHealth Tip: Eat Less Saturated FatKid-Friendly Food Swaps Everyone Will LoveWill Sugar Substitutes Help You Lose Weight?How to Keep Food Poisoning at BayHow to Choose the Right Cooking OilsCould Diet Sodas Raise an Older Woman's Stroke Risk?Hydrate Right, Your Kidneys Will Thank YouSweet Valentine Treats That Won't Bust Your DietAHA News: Are There Health Benefits From Chocolate?Get The Most From Frozen VegetablesUpdate Dietary Guidelines for a Healthier YouFrozen Berries: Just as Flavorful at a Better PriceMake a Healthy Game Plan for Super Bowl PartyingAHA: Healthy or Not? Keeping Score on Super Bowl AdsCauliflower: The Versatile Substitute for High-Carb Veggies
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development

Berkeley's Efforts Suggest Soda Taxes Do Cut Soda Sales

HealthDay News
by -- Steven Reinberg
Updated: Feb 22nd 2019

new article illustration

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tax it, and fewer folks will buy it.

So it goes with sugar-sweetened drinks, new research suggests.

The California city of Berkeley introduced the nation's first soda tax in 2014, and within months people were buying 21 percent fewer sugary drinks. Three years later, 52 percent fewer of these drinks were being sold while consumption of water rose 29 percent, the researchers found.

"This just drives home the message that soda taxes work," said study author Kristine Madsen, faculty director of the Berkeley Food Institute at University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health.

"Importantly, our evidence comes from low-income and diverse neighborhoods, which have the highest burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, not to mention a higher prevalence of advertising promoting unhealthy diets," Madsen said in a university news release.

The study shows that a soda tax can influence what people buy and can be effective in encouraging healthier drinking habits. This could potentially reduce diseases like diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay, which have been linked to sugar, the researchers added.

Sugar-sweetened drinks are very cheap, but cost America billions each year, Madsen said.

"They'd cost much more if the health care costs were actually included in the price of the soda," she added. "Taxes are one way of taking those costs into account."

For the study, Madsen and colleagues polled some 2,500 people each year in racially diverse neighborhoods across Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco.

In Berkeley, a significant decrease was seen in consumption of sugary drinks like sodas, as well as sports drinks and sweetened teas and coffees.

People in Oakland and San Francisco, however, drank about the same amount of sugary drinks in 2017 as they did in 2014. That, researchers said, implies that the tax, not trends in drinking, was responsible for the effect seen in Berkeley.

Oakland and San Francisco have since enacted soda taxes, which went into effect in mid-2017 and 2018, respectively.

Madsen cautions that taxes may not be the only factor behind the change, since the study only showed an association rather than a cause-and-effect link. But taxes send a message about societal values and can have a big impact on consumer behavior, Madsen said.

Other studies in Berkeley found that messaging alone can reduce consumption, she said. "But people are still very much affected by what hits their pocketbooks," Madsen added.

"We want to end this epidemic of diabetes and obesity, and taxes are a form of counter-messaging, to balance corporate advertising," Madsen said.

The revenue from Berkeley's penny-per-ounce soda tax is largely aimed at supporting school nutrition education, gardening programs and community groups that promote healthy behaviors.

The report was published Feb. 21 in the American Journal of Public Health.

More information

For more information on soda taxes, visit the Healthy Food America.