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Exploring the Public Health and Financial Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: A collection of research briefs, journal articles and online resources explore the possible health and economic impacts of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Publication Date: November 2009

Publisher(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Food and nutrition)


Today, nearly one-third of all children and adolescents in the country—more than 23 million young people—are overweight or obese, and are therefore at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a host of other serious diseases. These health consequences have significant economic impacts as well. Overweight and obesity cost the United States $147 billion a year in direct health care cost and lost productivity.

Emerging research suggests that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may be at least partly responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic, and that a tax on these beverages may help to reduce children’s consumption of them and provide much-needed revenue.

The articles, research briefs and resources here explore the role that sugar-sweetened beverages play in the childhood obesity epidemic, the potential that a tax on these beverages has to help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and the amount of revenue that could be generated by such a tax.


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