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Philadelphia soda sale plunge after tax sugary drinks



  • Soda sales fell 38% in Philadelphia after the city imposed a tax on sugar-laden drinks.
  • Drinks in Philly fell, while they rose just beyond the limits, found scientists.
  • Tax imposed in 2017 helps generate funds for prekindergarten and improvements to city parks and libraries.

Sales of soda and other sweet drinks died nearly 40% in Philadelphia after the city taxed the drinks in 2017, found a new study. Drinking within city limits dropped 51%, but an increase in sales just outside Philadelphia's borders resulted in a net drop of 38%, according to the results published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Philadelphia imposed a tax of 1

.5 cents per ounce on sweet drinks beginning January 1, 2017, becoming the second city to do so, after Berkeley, California, noted the University of Pennsylvania researchers as the author report.

Seven other American cities have been drinking beverages, the researchers added. In addition to Berkeley and Philadelphia, the list includes Oakland, California and San Francisco; Boulder, Colorado; and Seattle.

The findings mirror past studies of other places that have imposed drinking fees, but the sales drop in Philadelphia was more dramatic than those found in previous research. Unlike studies in Berkeley and Mexico, sales of beverages did not increase, suggesting that consumers did not replace these drinks in Philadelphia, the researchers said.

Curbing diabetes, tooth decay

The movements come as part of an effort to curb obesity and other diseases, and to increase the revenue to fund social programs. In Philadelphia's case, the tax has generated over $ 130 million to fund pre-K, community schools, and park improvements, recreation centers, and libraries.

"When we think about what it really wants to reduce chronic disease in this country, including diabetes, obesity and obesity, needs massive action, and the evidence is very strong, this is one that works," wrote Kristine Madsen. faculty director of the Berkeley Food Institute at the University of California Berkeley, in an editorial published with the study.

The latest study was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, supported by Michael Bloomberg, who, as mayor of New York, attempted to partially ban the soda and has lobbied for sodas.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association at the end of March demanded tax and border on marketing to children to limit drinking sugar. It is said to be sweet – and preventable – health risks, including tooth decay, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Research in the journal Science found sugary drinks with high fructose corn syrup fed colon tumors in mice. And a separate study by Harvard linked sweet-drink consumption to higher risk of heart disease.


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