The article, published online in Food Policy on June 6, compared 11 sugar-sweetened beverage tax efforts made since 2012 -- both successful and failed -- based on city characteristics, political process characteristics, and external financial support. Democratic Party dominance emerged as the most important city characteristic necessary for political success, say the authors. Since, according to the authors' calculations, roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population lives in Democratic-run cities, considerable room exists for more local tax efforts to succeed.
Consumption of sugary drinks (which include sodas, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened coffees and teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened waters) is associated with a host of adverse health outcomes, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. Studies have shown that the choice to consume soft drinks is influenced by pricing changes, including those driven by taxes.
Cities - Taxes - Beverages - Author - Robert
"Prior to 2014, cities had not been able to enact taxes on sugary beverages," said first and corresponding author Robert Paarlberg, Ph.D., adjunct professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School. "Since then we have seen seven successful efforts, but two others failed, most recently in Santa Fe. Understanding the necessary conditions for success is a crucial policy and public health question."
To identify the political conditions linked to success or failure, the team reviewed the health improvement potential of excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages; past failures to pass such taxes at the state or federal level; and 11 successful and unsuccessful efforts made at the local level since 2012. The team reviewed city characteristics -- population, median household income, percentage of poverty, and percentage of high school graduates -- based on the United States Census Bureau's QuickFacts, plus the percentage of registered Democrats, retrieved from Ballotpedia.
Tax - Proposals - Voter - Approval - Others
Some tax proposals required voter approval, and others, city council approval. Overall, the authors saw that...
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Measuring his life out one teaspoon at a time.