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Congrats to the newly released study of the Berkeley soda tax, a joint effort of the Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina covering over 15 million supermarket transactions which show that the Berkeley soda tax is working! Soda sales have been down by 10%, and water and milk sales have gone up!
Residents are buying fewer sugary-sweetened beverages water sales are up 16%, plus, according to the study, and not true as suggested by the American Beverage Association, grocery bills have not gone up.
Not only has all this helped deter consumption of unhealthy beverages for health but also $1.5 million has been raised for nutrition & health programs!
Nancy Brown, CEO, from the American Heart Association, told PLOS Medicine, “This study adds to the compelling evidence that simply cannot be ignored. The residents of Berkeley, who voted for a sugary drink tax in their community, are now seeing the benefits of significantly reduced consumption of sugary drinks, significantly increased consumption of water and consumers are switching to healthier drinks. Additionally, Berkeley small businesses have not seen a drop in overall sales. This positive impact is magnified by the fact that the revenue from the tax is being invested in health and wellness across the city.
“I urge the beverage industry to pay attention to this growing evidence and embrace these policies that benefit the health of communities, local businesses, their company employees and the very customers they serve. By doing so even more communities, and especially children, will experience a lifetime of health benefits. Spending millions to fight local citizens working tirelessly to improve their community puts the beverage industry on the wrong side of health and history.”