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Soda tax may have lessened Berkeley, Calif. soda consumption

20140630berkeleyvsbigsoda

ECOLOGY CTR

PALO ALTO, California –Taxing soda is linked with decreased soda consumption, according to the first analysis of the impact of Berkeley, California’s 2014 soda tax.

Published earlier this summer in the American Journal of Public Health, the study shows that after the tax was implemented, sugary beverage consumption fell by 21 percent in Berkeley, while water consumption rose by 63 percent.

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Berkeley was the first city in the nation to levy a tax on soda. This fall, three more California cities—San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany—will consider such a tax on their November ballots. An effort to pass a statewide soda tax in California failed to gain steam earlier this year.

The latest data on children drinking sugary beverages in California are now available on Kidsdata.

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San Francisco and Alameda counties, home to the four cities that have passed or are considering passing soda taxes, had the lowest percentages (about one in five) of children drinking sugary beverages, among counties with data. In Yuba, Kern and Tulare counties, all in the central valley, three in five children drank at least one sugary beverage per day.

Statewide, in 2013-2014, two out of five children drank one or more sugary beverages per day. Among the youngest children, those between 2 and 11 years old, the gap between ethnic groups is large. More than half of young black children drank sugary beverages per day, compared with one-third of young Latino and Asian children and one-fifth of young white children.

Experts advice that children minimize consumption of sugary beverages, which are linked to poor health outcomes, including unhealthy weight gain and obesity. They suggest promoting cross-sector, comprehensive strategies to reduce consumption of sugary beverages and increasing the availability of healthy, affordable food and beverage options for children and families, particularly in low-income communities.

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TAGS: American Journal of Public Health soda tax study, Berkeley, California's 2014 soda tax, decreased sugary drinks consumption, effect of soda tax on soda consumption, soda tax campaigns
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