Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How many lives could a soda tax save?

Date:
January 9, 2012
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
Every year, Americans drink 13.8 billion gallons of soda, fruit punch, sweet tea, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages -- a mass consumption of sugar that is fueling soaring obesity and diabetes rates in the United States.

Center (SFGH) and Columbia University have analyzed the effect of a nationwide tax on these sugary drinks.

They estimate slapping a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages would prevent nearly 100,000 cases of heart disease, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 deaths over the next decade.

"You would also prevent 240,000 cases of diabetes per year," said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF and acting director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at the UCSF-affiliated SFGH.

U.S. Consumption of Sweet Beverages

  • 13.8 billion: Number of gallons consumed in 2009
  • 45: Number of gallons consumed annually per person
  • 17: Number of teaspoons of sugar in a typical 22-oz soda
  • 70,000: Number of calories average person consumes per year in sweet drinks

Source: HealthAffairs

Diabetes in the United States

  • 25.8 million: Number of people who have diabetes
  • 8.3: Percentage of population affected
  • 174 billion: Annual cost in dollars of diabetes
  • 7: Ranking on list of leading causes of death

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In addition to $13 billion per year in direct tax revenue, Bibbins-Domingo and her colleagues estimated that such a tax would save the public $17 billion over the next decade in health care-related expenses due to the decline of obesity-related diseases.

"Our hope is that these types of numbers are useful for policy makers to weigh decisions," she said.

High Cost of High-Calorie Drinks

Consumption of beverages high in calories but poor in nutritional value is the number one source of added sugar and excess calories in the American diet. Sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed reducing the intake of these beverages as one of its chief obesity prevention strategies in 2009, and several states and cities, including California and New York City, are already considering such taxes.

The analysis by Bibbins-Domingo and her colleagues is among the first study to generate concrete estimates of the health benefits and cost savings of such a tax. They modeled these benefits by taking into account how many sodas and sugary beverages Americans drink every year and estimating how much less they would consume if a penny-per-ounce tax were imposed on these drinks. Economists have estimated that such a tax would reduce consumption by 10 percent to 15 percent over a decade.

They then modeled how this reduction would play out in terms of reducing the burdens of diabetes, heart disease and their associated health care costs.

This work was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. C. Wang, P. Coxson, Y.-M. Shen, L. Goldman, K. Bibbins-Domingo. A Penny-Per-Ounce Tax On Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Would Cut Health And Cost Burdens Of Diabetes. Health Affairs, 2012; 31 (1): 199 DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0410

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "How many lives could a soda tax save?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109212205.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2012, January 9). How many lives could a soda tax save?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109212205.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "How many lives could a soda tax save?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109212205.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Penny-Per-Ounce Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Keeps the Doctor Away and Saves Money, Study Finds

Jan. 9, 2012 Over the past 10 years, Americans drank more sugar-sweetened beverages than ever making these drinks the single largest dietary factor in the current obesity epidemic. In a new study, researchers ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins