In the News
PHI Study on San Francisco Soda Tax Highlighted in San Francisco Chronicle
- San Francisco Chronicle
Chronic Disease Prevention, Healthy Communities
Evaluation, Public Policy Advocacy, Research – Survey
Lynn Silver, Researcher
“Purchases of soda and other sugary drinks dropped 27% in Oakland in the first 2½ years after the city adopted a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a new study by UCSF researchers.
That decrease, which followed the launch of the tax in 2017, is expected to translate to improved health for Oakland residents over a 10-year period, and savings in health care spending by insurers, employers, individuals and public insurance plans, according to the study set for Tuesday publication in the medical journal PLOS Medicine. Those costs are related to a projected decline in six diseases linked to sugary beverages: obesity, coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, chronic kidney disease and dental disease.
Oakland imposes a 1-cent-per-ounce excise tax on drinks with added sugar, including soda, some juices, sports drinks and energy drinks.
The UCSF findings echo those of previous studies that have examined the impact of soda taxes in U.S. jurisdictions, and come a year after a commission formed by Congress recommended legislators pass a national soda tax in an effort to combat soaring rates of diabetes.
The UCSF researchers compared Oakland to the city of Richmond, which does not have a soda tax. They found that the implementation of Oakland’s tax was followed by a 27% drop in purchases of sugary drinks in the 30 months that followed, compared with Richmond.
Oakland is one of four Bay Area jurisdictions that have passed taxes on sugary beverages in the past decade. Berkeley was the first in the nation to adopt one, in 2015, and Oakland, Albany and San Francisco followed suit. Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Boulder, Colo., have similar taxes.
In the three years following the passage of Berkeley’s soda tax, residents cut their consumption of sugary drinks by more than 50%, according to one 2019 study.
Oakland’s tax is on distributors, which pass it on to retailers. Retailers then pass it on to consumers, who ultimately end up paying most of the tax, said Justin White, an associate professor of health economics at UCSF and the study’s first author.
The UCSF study estimated that Oakland’s soda tax would amount to cost savings of more than $100,000 per 10,000 residents over 10 years.
And it would translate to improvements in what’s known as quality-assisted life-years, a metric that measures years of quality life that a population would gain under certain scenarios. For every 10,000 Oakland residents, nearly 100 would have one healthier year of life over the span of 10 years compared to the outcome if the city did not have the tax, the study found.”
To read the full article click on the link below.
Here’s how much soda sales dropped after Oakland imposed a tax on sugary drinks / San Francisco Chronicle
UCSF researchers study impact of Oakland soda tax / NBC – Bay Area
Work With Us
You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.
Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.
Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.