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Taxing Sugary Drinks: What are the Impacts?

Children consume an average of more than 30 gallons of sugary drinks a year. How effective have sugary drink taxes been in addressing this and other concerns?


The harmful health effects of sugary drinks are clear:  Having even one per day significantly increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. In the United States, 40,000 deaths every year are attributed to heart problems caused specifically by consuming too many sugary drinks. The potential harms for children, who consume an average of more than 30 gallons of sugary drinks a year—including sports drinks, fruit-flavored drinks and soda—are particularly concerning.

A growing number of U.S. cities have responded to these concerns, in part, by enacting sugary drink taxes. The impacts to date are encouraging.

Seven U.S. cities— the California cities of Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany; Philadelphia; Seattle; and Boulder, Colo.—along with the Navajo Nation, have sugary drink taxes on the books – with Navajo Nation being the first.  Evidence shows that these taxes can reduce consumption of sugary drinks and are raising critical revenue that fund programs and policies to improve health and education for children and families, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Read the full article for a look at the early impact of sugary drink taxes.

Want to stay up to date on issues surrounding sugary drinks? Click here to visit our Sugary Drinks toolkit and to sign up for the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Team!