Posted on Jul 03, 2018, 11 p.m.
Chile has introduced a sugar tax which has been shown to be effective in reducing consumption of sugary drinks, although consumption has dropped it may not be enough to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in diet related health, as published in the journal PLOS Medicine.
Some countries and cities have started to adopt taxes on sugary drinks to help combat sugar consumption which is heavily documented to be linked to rising obesity and obesity related disease levels. Chile adopted the sugary tax in 2014. Policy targeted any nonalcoholic beverage to which colourants, sweeteners or flavourings had been added. Beverages with added sugar concentration of 6.25 grams per 100ml or more had taxes increase to 18% with those under being lowered to 10%.
Data on household grocery purchasing was analysed for three years before the tax was implemented and for a year following introduction. An overall 21.6% decrease in monthly purchased volume of higher taxed sugary drinks was observed. Low, middle and high socioeconomic groups purchase volume fell by 12%,16% and 31% respectively; non-sugary beverages with decreased taxes showed no increase in purchase volume in any socioeconomic group despite the 8% incentive.
It was noted that further studies are needed to be conducted to evaluate the sugar tax impacts on long term, as well as to evaluate the impacts on health outcomes. Researchers concluded that the results indicate that the tax incentive showed signs of improvement even though there was only a small difference in price.
Materials provided by University of York.
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