Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Sugar sweetened beverage taxes: What does the latest evidence say?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSB) Taxes are intended to lower consumption of these drinks and, therefore, improve weight status and reduce obesity rates. But what does the latest research show about their effectiveness? There is some evidence that sugar sweetened beverage taxes decrease consumption of soda and other sweetened beverages, although current tax levels are generally too low to significantly affect consumer behavior. Larger effects can occur with larger taxes, as shown with a recently implemented SSB tax in Berkeley, CA – SSB consumption decreased 21% and water consumption increased 63%. You can read more in the newly updated entry on our What Works for Health (WWFH) page.

Every month, we add new content to WWFH, our database of evidence summaries and ratings for policies, programs, and systems changes that can improve health. What else is new this month? We’ve added listings for Expedited Partner Therapy for Treatable STIs (which has an evidence rating of Scientifically Supported) and Tobacco Retailer Licensing (rated Expert Opinion).

We’ve also updated a number of existing strategy pages with new studies, implementation examples, and other resources. Updated strategies include:

See the full list of new and updated listings here and learn more about how we assign evidence ratings here.

And if you want to suggest a policy or program for us to look into, let us know.