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Study Shows Taxing Sugary Drinks Could Change Consumer Behavior

According to a new study, taxes on sugar drinks could affect consumer behavior in a good way. Experts have found that the consumption of these beverages has lowered in several cities and states where this is now law. 

One researcher, Dr Andrea Tang says, “This new review presents compelling evidence that sugary drink taxes result in decreased sales, purchasing or dietary intake of taxed beverages. For a 10 percent tax, sugary drink volumes declined by an average of 10 percent.” 

Researchers compared data from countries and U.S. that implemented said taxes before and after to see what the effects were on consumer behavior. Places like France, Mexico, and Chile were examined alongside cities like Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Portland.

Overall, researchers learned that taxing sugary beverages led to a decrease in consumption with some variations by region.

In some areas, the tax was coupled with public initiatives to curb obesity. In other areas, consumers had more variety when it came to selecting beverages that didn’t have high sugar content and were affordable.

According to researcher Amanda Jones, “Some of the differences found in these studies may also be due to non-price mechanisms. For example, a tax may signal to the public the seriousness of the health concern associated with consuming a product.” 

Do you think this could work in other states? Would this change your behavior or do you think it is overreach? Tell us in the comments below. You can also contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to You can also find us on TwitterFacebook, InstagramLinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!

About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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