JAMA: Outcomes Following Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

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Original Investigation
Nutrition, Obesity, and Exercise
June 1, 2022

Outcomes Following Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened BeveragesA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(6):e2215276. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.15276

Citation

Andreyeva T, Marple K, Marinello S, Moore TE, Powell LM. Outcomes Following Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(6):e2215276. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.15276

Key PointsQuestion  What are the outcomes of implemented sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes around the world?

Findings  In this systematic review of 86 studies and a meta-analysis of 62 studies, implemented SSB taxes were associated with higher prices of targeted beverages (tax pass-through of 82%) and 15% lower SSB sales, with a price elasticity of demand of −1.59. No negative changes in employment were identified.

Meaning  These findings suggest that SSB taxes may work as intended in reducing demand for SSBs through higher prices, yet further research is needed to understand their associations with diet and health outcomes and heterogeneity of consumer responses.

Abstract

Importance  More than 45 countries and several local jurisdictions have implemented sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes to improve nutrition and population health, and evidence on their outcomes to date is essential to inform policy discussions. Responding to this need, the World Health Organization commissioned a systematic literature review on the outcomes of fiscal policies, including SSB taxes.

Objective  To assess the associations of implemented SSB taxes with prices, sales, consumption, diet, body weight, product changes, unintended consequences, health, and pregnancy outcomes.

Data Sources  Searches of 8 bibliographic databases (Business Source Complete, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CINAHL, EconLit, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Scopus) were performed from database inception through June 1, 2020, with no language or setting restrictions. Grey literature was assessed using 14 sources and government websites.

Study Selection  The review included primary studies of implemented SSB taxes.

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