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New Study Examines the Health Impact of Philly’s Proposed Sugary Drink Tax


By localizing their national, peer reviewed model, researchers from Harvard University’s CHOICES Project found that Philadelphia’s proposed tax on sugary drinks would “increase healthy life years and save more in future health care costs than it costs to implement’.

According to the study, 36,000 fewer Philadelphians would be obese by the end of 2025 if the 3 cent per ounce tax was implemented and 730 deaths could be prevented.  The measure would also prevent over 2,000 cases of type 2 diabetes each year when the tax reaches its full effect.  

In addition to improving health and saving lives, the analysis found that the tax would lower the city’s health care costs over a 10-year period, with an estimated savings close to $200 million.

In a written statement about the study, Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Tom Farley, said, “This research underscores that the sugary drinks tax is a win-win-win. There’s no other single policy we could implement that would have this widespread, generational impact.”

For more details about the study, visit the CHOICES Project website.