Tax reduces sugar drink buys
Another day, another study that shows soda taxes work to reduce the consumption of beverages associated with costly chronic diseases in children and adults: latest Mexico’s.
Mexico’s sugar-sweetened beverage tax went into effect at the start of 2014 and tacked on 1 peso per litre of sugary drink. Published this month in the journal Health Affairs, the latest study found that purchases of sugary drinks subject to the new tax went down more than 5 per cent in 2014 and nearly 10 per cent in 2015. At the same time, purchases of untaxed drinks went up by slightly more than 2 per cent. The study notes that the prevalence of overweight and obesity reached 70 per cent among Mexico’s adults and 30 per cent among the country’s children as of 2012. In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages account for 70 per cent of added sugars in the typical Mexican diet, making sugary beverages a “logical target for lowering the intake of added sugars,” the study stated.
Researchers used data on monthly household store purchases, January 2012 to December 2015. They found that purchases of taxed beverages declined by an average of 5.5 per cent in 2014 and 9.7 per cent in 2015, resulting in an overall average decline of 7.6 per cent. Purchases of taxed sugary drinks went down at all socioeconomic levels, though such reductions were largest among the lowest-income households.
This study isn’t the only one to show the positive impacts of sugary beverage taxes. A study on Berkeley’s soda tax found a big 21 per cent decrease in sugary beverage consumption. At Harvard, researchers predicted that Philadelphia’s sugary beverage tax, which went into effect this year, could prevent 36,000 cases of obesity over 10 years, prevent more than 2,000 cases of diabetes in the first year after the tax reaches its full effect, and save $200 million.
Gatineau next? Why not!