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Global Health
February 19, 2014

Tax on Sugary Beverages in India Could Reduce Obesity and Diabetes

JAMA. 2014;311(7):666. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.450

A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) could help lower the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes among consumers in India, according to a modeling study in India (Basu S et al. PLoS Med. 2014;11[1]:e1001682).

Researchers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and India used survey data from 100 855 Indian households relating the consumption of SSBs—soft drinks sweetened with cane sugar or other caloric sweeteners—to price variations to determine how price changes affect demand. Taking into account the current rate of increase in SSB sales in India, they estimated that a 20% SSB tax could prevent 11.2 million cases of overweight or obesity and 400 000 cases of type 2 diabetes over the period from 2014 to 2023. The model predicted the largest effect of the tax would be among young men in rural areas.

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