Food Politics

Sugar Lumps: Soft Drink Study Supports Soda Tax


A major study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine yesterday adds credence to the theory that higher costs for sugary beverages - like the kind that might be caused by a soda tax - are linked to measurable health improvements. This information is another arrow in the quiver of politicians in Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles who have all recently put forth proposals for soda taxes. And it should make Chicago, which already has a soda tax in place - or is it a pop tax? - feel very cutting-edge.

The study, which “followed 5,000 young adults for 20 years as they moved around the country and faced changing prices of soft drinks” found a “$1 increase in the cost of a two-liter bottle of soda - about 1.5 cents per ounce - translated to 124 fewer calories per day from all sources, 2.34 pounds lower body weight per year, and significant improvement in a measure of heart-disease risk.”

Philly’s two-cents-per-ounce tax is, so far, the highest tax proposed in the country; according to an Inquirer article, as of 2008, 64 percent of adults and 57 percent of children in the City of Brotherly Love were overweight or obese.

Study Links Soda Tax and Better Health
[Philadelphia Inquirer]

Sugar Lumps: Soft Drink Study Supports Soda Tax