Turning great ideas into healthier communities


What Philadelphia's Soda Tax Can Teach Us About Health Framing

June 22, 2016 | Heather Gelhert, Berkeley Media Studies Group

In the days following Philadelphia's historic passage of a tax on sugary drinks, many public health advocates have been asking what this means for soda tax messaging efforts in other cities. Although Philly's tax will ultimately benefit health—funds will go toward universal preschool, which is linked to better health outcomes—the tax wasn't framed that way. One of the main messages coming from the city was much broader, with local leaders portraying the tax as a much-needed source of revenue that would help ease the city's struggles with poverty and build a better future for all Philadelphians, especially its children. 

PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group explores if other locales should follow Philly's lead and think outside of explicit health framesor should they take a cue from Berkeley, California, whose 2014 passage of the country's first soda tax was more overtly health-focused.   more

See All Blogs


Press Releases

Cross-Border Shopping Increased After Washington State Privatized Liquor Sales

June 09, 2016


An increase in cross-border traffic by Washington State residents to Idaho and Oregon following Washington’s privatization of liquor stores resulted in significant revenue for the two bordering states, according to a new study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group published online this week in the journal Addiction  more

See All Press Releases


PHI Statement on the Passage of Philadelphia SSB Tax

June 16, 2016

The Public Health Institute enthusiastically congratulates the city of Philadelphia for its hard-fought but ultimately winning effort to pass a sugar-sweetened beverage tax. The city will impose a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as diet beverages, and use the funds to expand pre-kindergarten and improve parks, recreation centers, and libraries.  more

See All Statements

Announcements & Events

PHI's RAMP Receives HUD Award for Achievements in Healthy Housing

June 16, 2016

PHI's Regional Asthma Management and Prevention program has received the 2016 Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes on behalf of the California Healthy Housing Coalition. The Award recognizes excellence in healthy housing innovation and achievement.  more

See All Announcements

PHI in the News

Photo: David Swanson

Health experts: Philly soda tax could start national movement

June 16, 2016 | Don Sapatkin | Philadelphia Inquirer

"This is an idea whose time has come," PHI Senior Advisor for Chronic Disease and Obesity Lynn Silver told the Philadelphia Inquirer in response to that city's passage of a tax on sugary beverages this week. Philadelphia joined Berkeley, California, the only other city in the country to levy an excise tax on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. Philadelphia included artificially sweetened beverages in its tax, as well.

Silver said she believes taxing sugary beverages will quickly win public acceptance across the country, comparing it to the introduction of smoke-free air regulations.  more

See All PHI in the News