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Obes Rev. 2019 Jun 19. doi: 10.1111/obr.12868. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes on purchases and dietary intake: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.
Department of Economics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


The aim was to conduct a systematic review of real-world sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax evaluations and examine the overall impact on beverage purchases and dietary intake by meta-analysis. Medline, EconLit, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases were searched up to June 2018. SSB tax evaluations from any formal jurisdiction from cities to national governments were eligible if there was a comparison between pre-post tax (n = 11) or taxed and untaxed jurisdiction(s) (n = 6). The consumption outcome comprised sales, purchasing, and intake (reported by volume, energy, or frequency). Taxed and untaxed beverage consumption outcomes were examined separately by meta-analysis with adjustment for the size of each tax. The study was registered at PROSPERO (CRD42018100620). The equivalent of a 10% SSB tax was associated with an average decline in beverage purchases and dietary intake of 10.0% (95% CI: -5.0% to -14.7%, n = 17 studies, 6 jurisdictions) with considerable heterogeneity between results (I2  = 97%).The equivalent of a 10% SSB tax was also associated with a nonsignificant 1.9% increase in total untaxed beverage consumption (eg, water) (95% CI: -2.1% to 6.1%, n = 6 studies, 4 jurisdictions). Based on real-world evaluations, SSB taxes introduced in jurisdictions around the world appear to have been effective in reducing SSB purchases and dietary intake.


evaluation; excise; meta-analysis; natural experiment; soft drinks; tax


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