Study: As cost of sugary drinks go up, sales go down

Nov. 14, 2013, USA Today

By Nanci Hellmich

People bought fewer sugary drinks when the price was higher than no-calorie or low-cal drinks.

Raising the cost of high-calorie beverages by a few cents — and highlighting calorie content in places where they are sold — decreases sales, a new study shows.

This research comes after much discussion in recent years about trying to combat the nation’s obesity crisis by adding extra taxes to the cost of sugar-sweetened beverages, sometimes called a “soda tax.”

Researchers at Harvard conducted a study in the cafeteria of a financial services company. They increased the price of high-calorie beverages (those that contained 150 calories or more per container), mostly soda, lemonade, whole chocolate milk, and some juices, by $.01 cent per ounce. Continue reading

Soda tax won’t curb obesity, study contends

Aug. 9, 2013, HealthDay

Taxing sodas and other sugary beverages won’t help reduce obesity because consumers would switch to other high-calorie foods and drinks that aren’t taxed, a new study contends.

The researchers came to their conclusion after analyzing data on household food purchases made by Americans in 2006. The findings were published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

“Instituting a sugary-beverage tax may be an appealing public-policy option to curb obesity, but it’s not as easy to use taxes to curb obesity as it is with smoking,” study lead author Chen Zhen, a research economist at RTI International, said in a journal news release. Continue reading