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Open AccessArticle

Sugar-Sweetened and Diet Beverage Consumption in Philadelphia One Year after the Beverage Tax

1
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
2
Department of Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041336
Received: 4 January 2020 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 19 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Economics of Health Behaviors)
In January 2017, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) implemented an excise tax ($ 0.015/ounce) on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages. This study is a general population-based study to report on the longer-term impacts of the tax on within-person changes in consumption 12 months after implementation. A quasi-experimental difference-in-difference design was used to contrast Philadelphia vs. nearby comparison cities (Trenton, New Jersey; Camden, New Jersey; and Wilmington, Delaware) at baseline (December 2016–January 2017) vs. 12-month follow-up (December 2017–February 2018). A random-digit-dialing phone survey was administered to a population-based cohort. Analyses assessed changes in 30-day consumption frequency and ounces of sugar-sweetened and diet beverages (and a substitution beverage, bottled water) in the analytic sample (N = 515). After 12 months, relative to the comparison group, Philadelphians were slightly more likely to decrease their frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (39.2% vs. 33.5%), and slightly less likely to increase their frequency of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (38.9% vs. 43.0%). The effects of the tax estimated in the adjusted difference-in-difference analysis were very small (for example, changes in monthly sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in Philadelphia relative to comparison cities was −3.03 times or −51.65 ounces) and confidence intervals were very wide. Results suggested that, one year after implementation, there was no major overall impact of the tax on general population-level consumption of sugar-sweetened or diet beverages, or bottled water. Future studies should test whether the tax’s effect differs in vulnerable sub-populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: sugar-sweetened beverages; public policy; nutrition; epidemiology; public health sugar-sweetened beverages; public policy; nutrition; epidemiology; public health
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhong, Y.; Auchincloss, A.H.; Lee, B.K.; McKenna, R.M.; Langellier, B.A. Sugar-Sweetened and Diet Beverage Consumption in Philadelphia One Year after the Beverage Tax. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1336.

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