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Soda Tax Cuts Daily Soda, Energy Drink Consumption

Findings based on immediate impact following the implementation of Philadelphia’s beverage tax

FRIDAY, April 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A soda tax does influence daily consumption of regular soda, energy drinks, and bottled water, according to a study published online April 12 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Yichen Zhong, from Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues evaluated the immediate impact of the Philadelphia beverage tax on residents’ consumption of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and bottled water. Consumption patterns were assessed during a no-tax period (Dec. 6 to 31, 2016) and a tax period (Jan. 15 to Feb. 31, 2017) among 899 respondents in Philadelphia and 878 respondents in three nearby comparison cities.

The researchers found that, compared to the control cities, within the first two months of tax implementation the odds of daily consumption in Philadelphia were lower for regular soda (odds ratio, 0.6) and energy drinks (odds ratio, 0.36), while consumption of bottled water was higher (odds ratio, 1.58). Additionally, the 30-day regular soda consumption frequency was 38 percent lower.

“Early results suggest that the tax influenced daily consumption of regular soda, energy drinks, and bottled water,” the authors write. “Future studies are needed to evaluate longer-term impact of the tax on sugared beverage consumption and substitutions.”

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