Soda Taxes Cut Soda Drinking

Creating a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks was among a list of cost-effective ways to fight childhood obesity on a blog entry we posted in June. For years, no one implemented this strategy until recently when Mexico passed a junk food tax in 2013, according to New York Times

And it worked.

The tax in Mexico increased prices and sales dropped especially among poor consumers. For example, There was a 17 percent decrease in soda sales among low-income Mexicans by December 2013.  The article reports that researchers say such policies could be translated in the U.S. There are still three questions that needs to be answered in order to find out whether or not this will work. 

  1. Does the tax raise the price of soda instead of it being absorbed in by suppliers?
  2. Do increases in the price of soda actually reduce purchases? It happened in Mexico, but will the policy's effectiveness be reflected among U.S. consumers?
  3. Did the rate of obesity or diabetes fall? There is not enough research to support that changing people's beverage habits will improve their health in the long term. More studies need to be conducted to find the policy's effectiveness. 

Would creating a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks make a difference? Let us know!