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Another study shows levies on sugary drinks work

15 May 2019

Media release

Dentists point to another study showing levies on sugary drinks work

New research shows sugary drink sales dropped 38 per cent in Philadelphia one year after the introduction of a levy on soft drinks and other sugary drinks.

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) says the study in JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association - adds to international evidence showing sugary drink consumption can be decreased via targeted sugary drink levies.

“We need to reduce sugary drink consumption in New Zealand, this will improve the country’s overall dental health.

The emerging international evidence is clear, a levy on sugary drinks actually reduces consumption,” said NZDA spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.

“We’ve seen this not only in US cities, Philadelphia and Berkeley, California, but also in the UK, where the UK Government applied a levy on the soft drinks industry on total sugar content over 5 grams per 100 milliliters.”

“Reducing sugary drink consumption will reduce long-term harm that we are seeing from high-sugar drinks, and a levy on drinks with high sugar content is the way to do this,” says Dr Beaglehole.

Notes to editors

‘Association of a Beverage Tax on Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages With Changes in Beverage Prices and Sales at Chain Retailers in a Large Urban Setting’

JAMA. 2019;321(18):1799-1810. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.4249



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