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.


Publication Date: November 2009

Publisher: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Research Area: Health

Type: Report


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.