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May 14, 2019

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes: Emerging Evidence on a New Public Health Policy

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, Berkeley
  • 2Healthy Food America, Seattle, Washington
  • 3University of Washington, School of Public Health, Seattle
  • 4The Praxis Project Inc, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2019;321(18):1777-1779. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.5344

Some cities in the United States and countries around the world are adopting taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages as part of efforts to address the global epidemic of obesity and noncommunicable diseases and to raise revenues to address societal needs. There is compelling rationale for taxing sugar-sweetened beverages to help confront diet-related factors that contribute to the high prevalence of obesity. Sugar-sweetened beverages represent the single largest source of added dietary sugars in the United States and are associated with diabetes and other chronic health conditions.1 Disproportionate exposure to and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in low-income communities and people of color,2 driven by financial disparities and targeted advertising,3,4 contribute to poorer health outcomes in these groups.

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