Is it Time for a Soda Tax After All?

The Lempert Report
February 02, 2016

Mexico 's new tax is slated to make a difference.

It’s been highly debated and challenged by the soda industry, which claims everything from being unlawful, unfair to consumers and would raise prices. But news from across our border adds new fuel to the possibility.

The American Heart Association says that adding such a tax should improve rates of obesity, and lower diabetes and heart disease based on an analysis of the impact of adding a ten-percent tax to sugary drinks in Mexico on January 1, 2014. One year later to the day, sales of the drinks were down 12 percent and untaxed beverages, like bottled water were up 4 percent.

In analysis conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from more than 6,200 Mexican households in 53 large cities showed that, in 2014, the average person bought 4.2 fewer liters of sugary drinks than they would have before the tax.

The reduction in sales of sugary drinks was highest among poor households, falling 17 percent by the end of 2014, according to the study. 

A statement from the American Heart Association said: "Scientific research shows that overconsumption of added sugars contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Mexico has paved the way for other nations to decrease sugary drink intake and has shown sugar-sweetened beverage taxes are an effective strategy to make healthy choices easier.  Take that Donald Trump.