This is a brief summary of the research study: Rogers NT, Cummins S, Forde H, Jones CP, Mytton O, et al. (2023) Associations between trajectories of obesity prevalence in English primary school children and the UK soft drinks industry levy: An interrupted time series analysis of surveillance data. PLOS Medicine 20(1): e1004160.
What is the soft drink tax levy (UK)?
- Manufacturers are taxed based on sugar content of drinks
- An attempt to reduce obesity with hope that a higher price would dissuade people from purchasing
How were the effects of the soft drinks industry levy studied?
- This study looked at changes in obesity rates in ages 4-5 and 10-11 in the UK
- Over a 6 year span – taxing started March of 2016
- Compared changes with expected trend levels
- Grouped by gender and socioeconomic status
What were the results of a soft drink tax on obesity?
- 8% significant decrease in obesity for girls age 10-11 years (5,234 total)
- Greatest change was seen in those the study considered a “deprived” socioeconomic status
- No changes for ages 4-5 years
- No changes for boys of either age group
- Significant changes for 10-11 year old girls and those in a “deprived” socioeconomic situation – this is good except there was no change for the other age groups studied
- It is possible that age 4-5 does not consume as much sugar or soda beverages or have access due to age
- Unfortunately, the United States is quite fond of its sugar beverages and the money it brings, but a tax should be considered
- This study was only focused on one set of age groups – but can be taken into consideration
- Consider the companies selling to you – sugar addiction while they make billions off of you
- Consider the cost of healthcare needed from the effects of sugar that we are well aware of – diabetes, heart disease
Research & Resources
- Alternative beverages that cost more – Spindrift and Poppi
- Alternative beverage that costs less over time – drinkmate carbonator with lemon and lime juice