Public health advocates in the US have long advised for a tax on sodas as a means to discourage people from indulging in sugary drinks, possibly helping curb obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related conditions.
Philadelphia introduced such a tax – 1.5 cents per ounce – in 2017, and now, evidence points to the fact that such a policy might actually do the trick in reducing sugar consumption. According to a new study, Philadelphia’s tax led to a 38 percent decline in sugary soda and diet drink sales, even when taking into account an increase in sales in neighboring towns. The move came as part of an effort to curb obesity and other diseases, and to raise revenue to fund social programs. In Philadelphia’s case, the tax has reportedly generated more than $130 million to fund pre-K and community schools, as well as improvements to parks, recreation centers and libraries.