It’s no secret that soda and other sugary drinks are terrible for you. They wreak havoc on your body from the inside out. It seems that the health risks alone aren’t enough to deter some people from downing soda, but a recent study shows there’s another factor that might be. In 2017, the city of Philadelphia imposed a tax of 1.5 cents per ounce on sweetened drinks. According to the study, sales of sugary beverages have plunged by nearly 40% since then. Within the city limits, beverage sales dropped by 51%. Just outside of Philadelphia’s borders, sales dropped by 38%.
Philadelphia was the second city to impose the tax, following in the footsteps of Berkeley, California. Seven other U.S. cities have imposed taxes on beverages since, including cities in Colorado and Washington — all in an effort to help curb obesity and other diseases. The money from the tax has been used to fund social programs. In Philadelphia, the tax has generated more than $130 million to fund pre-K, community schools and improvements to libraries, parks and recreation centers.
In March, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association called for taxes and limits on marketing sugary drinks to children — a call to action that’s way overdue. In addition to obesity, sugary drinks are linked to a multitude of other health problems, including metabolic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, stroke, tooth decay and more.
If you think you’re doing yourself a favor by choosing diet soda , you’re dead wrong. Sweetened beverages, whether it’s sweetened with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, naturally-occurring fructose, or artificial sweeteners, are among the worst culprits in the fight against obesity and related health problems. Research suggests sugary beverages are to blame for around 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Giving up soda and other sugary drinks — taxed or nontaxed — is one of the most fundamental steps you can take to improve your health. If you haven’t already made that choice, it’s imperative that you do it now.