Does taxing sugary drinks work?

Asked by: Kraig Wilkinson
Score: 4.5/5 (56 votes)

Several cities have already enacted such soda taxes to raise money and fight obesity. And there's new evidence suggesting that these taxes do work — although sometimes not as well as hoped. ... "We saw a 52 percent decline in consumption over the first three years" since the tax went into effect, she says.

Do taxes on sugary drinks work?

No state currently has an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, soda taxes are levied locally in Boulder, Colorado; the District of Columbia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and four California cities: Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco.

Does taxing soda work?

Adults who participated in the study reported drinking about 10 fewer sodas a month after the tax, amounting to a reduction of about 31 percent, according to a study recently published by Cawley and colleagues in the Journal of Health Economics.

Why taxing sugary drinks is bad?

It seems straightforward: Taxing sugary beverages makes them more expensive, reducing consumption and leading would-be soda-guzzlers to lead healthier lives. ... For example, Philadelphia's tax on sugary drinks seems to be linked to an increase in alcohol consumption.

How effective is a sugar tax?

Their findings show that the average sugar content of 83 products decreased by 42%. Although the tax seems effective, the authors also conclude that sugar content still varies considerably and that the levy thresholds could be reduced and the tax increased to drive further reformulation of soft drinks.

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Who pays the sugar tax?

Officially called the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), the tax puts a charge of 24p on drinks containing 8g of sugar per 100ml and 18p a litre on those with 5-8g of sugar per 100ml, directly payable by manufacturers to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Who drinks sugary?

People who consume sugary drinks regularly – 1 to 2 cans a day or more – have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely consume such drinks(5).

Why is sugar tax a bad idea?

Excess consumption of sugar is linked to several health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. ... A tax on sugar would discourage consumption and raise tax revenue to fund improved health care. Yet, critics argue that it is a regressive tax which takes more from those on low incomes.

Why is there no sugar tax?

One of the most common arguments used to oppose taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages is that such taxes are regressive, and it is unfair to make poorer people pay a larger share of their limited incomes to consume these products, when compared to wealthier people.

What would happen if we taxed sugar?

They found that taxing sugar would reduce sugar intake 8 percent more, impose 5 percent less of a burden on consumers, and collect 5 percent less revenue than would taxing volume. 4 Taxing sugar content thus delivers more sugar reduction than a volume tax relative to the burden placed on consumers.

What is the purpose of an extra tax on soda pop?

Soda taxes are sometimes called a corrective or "sin tax" because, unlike a general sales tax, they are used in part to discourage the purchase of soda because the choice to consume it has costs both to the user and to other people (such as increased health care costs).

Do soda taxes reduce obesity?

As a result, they write, obesity rates in the U.S. would drop by an additional 630,000 adults, and 11,000 fewer people per year would develop diabetes. ...

Why the soda tax is good?

The study, which is the first to document the long-term impacts of a soda tax on drinking habits in the United States, provides strong evidence that soda taxes are an effective tool for encouraging healthier drinking habits, with the potential to reduce sugar-linked diseases like diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay ...

Do sugar taxes reduce obesity?

As more countries and cities consider taxes on sugary beverages, some experts are beginning to look beyond drinks. ... In the study, researchers conclude that a 20 percent price increase on high-sugar snacks could lead to a 2 percent decrease in obesity in a year.

How has sugar tax helped obesity?

The new study paper,1 funded by the National Institute for Health Research, said, “Increasing the price of high sugar snacks by 20% could reduce energy intake and BMI to more than twice that observed for similar price increases on sugar sweetened beverages, but with strong variability across household income and BMI ...

Who pays the most on progressive taxes?

Progressive tax systems have tiered tax rates that charge higher income individuals higher percentages of their income and offer the lowest rates to those with the lowest incomes. Flat tax plans generally assign one tax rate to all taxpayers. No one pays more or less than anyone else under a flat tax system.

How will sugar tax affect the economy?

Sugar tax is arguably (by some) akin to a sin tax as both aim to decrease consumption and increase revenue. ... SARS and the South African authorities argue that reduction in consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, resulting from higher prices, contributes directly to the health of lower socio-economic groups.

Should government tax sugary drinks?

A tax on sugary drinks can help: Raises revenue for important programs like healthier food in schools, increasing access to healthy food for low income people, initiatives to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases, education campaigns about sugary drinks and healthy eating, and universal pre-k.

How much is a sugar tax?

Manufacturers of soft drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml have been made to pay a levy of 18p a litre to the Treasury, or 24p a litre for sugar content over 8g per 100ml, since the tax came into force in April 2018.

Is sugar tax justified?

Although a sugar tax on its own is justified as a means of reducing sugar intake, as there is evidence sugar intake will decrease without any major caveats, a behavioural element should accompany it.

Is sugar tax a specific tax?

The UK government is using a specific tax to target the primary source of sugar for teenagers: soft drinks. The tax will be imposed on companies, based on the volume of high-sugar drinks (excluding fruit and milk-based drinks) they produce or import.

Who drinks the most sugary drinks?

Adolescents and young adults are the heaviest consumers of sugary drinks. Even young infants and toddlers drink a lot of sugary drinks, primarily fruit drinks. Consumption has gone down in all age groups, with largest declines in 2-5 year olds and 12-19 year olds.

What sugary drinks do to your body?

Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.

What defines a sugary drink?

Sugary drinks (also categorized as sugar-sweetened beverages or “soft” drinks) refer to any beverage with added sugar or other sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, and more).

What drinks are exempt from sugar tax?

Fruit juices and milk-based drinks are currently exempt from the taxes on the grounds that their sugar is naturally occurring. The levy applies only to the manufacturers and importers of sugary drinks, not the consumers themselves.

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