Soda Tax Working as Intended in Berkeley
Statement of CSPI President Michael F. Jacobson
Getting Americans to drink more water and less soda is one of the most important things we can do to reduce diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
For Berkeley, Calif., to reduce soda sales by 10 percent—and to raise water sales by 16 percent—is a huge public-health victory. It shows that the soda tax enacted in Berkeley is working as intended. And rather than costing the city, the soda tax represents a brand-new revenue stream, which Berkeley is using for important health programs. We hope voters and policymakers elsewhere in the country will review the findings published in PLoS Medicine and press for soda taxes in their communities.
This study won’t stop Big Soda from claiming that taxes don’t work. But if soda taxes didn’t make a significant dent in soda consumption, the industry wouldn’t be fighting taxes so hard.