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Impact of the Berkeley Excise Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption.
- Author(s): Falbe, Jennifer;
- Thompson, Hannah R;
- Becker, Christina M;
- Rojas, Nadia;
- McCulloch, Charles E;
- Madsen, Kristine A
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2016.303362
ObjectivesTo evaluate the impact of the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in Berkeley, California, which became the first US jurisdiction to implement such a tax ($0.01/oz) in March 2015.
MethodsWe used a repeated cross-sectional design to examine changes in pre- to posttax beverage consumption in low-income neighborhoods in Berkeley versus in the comparison cities of Oakland and San Francisco, California. A beverage frequency questionnaire was interviewer administered to 990 participants before the tax and 1689 after the tax (approximately 8 months after the vote and 4 months after implementation) to examine relative changes in consumption.
ResultsConsumption of SSBs decreased 21% in Berkeley and increased 4% in comparison cities (P = .046). Water consumption increased more in Berkeley (+63%) than in comparison cities (+19%; P < .01).
ConclusionsBerkeley's excise tax reduced SSB consumption in low-income neighborhoods. Evaluating SSB taxes in other cities will improve understanding of their public health benefit and their generalizability.
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