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Increasing the Price of Regular Soda May Reduce Intake and Obesity

Posted Jun 20 2010 12:00am

In an effort to reduce the rate of obesity in the U.S., federal and local governments are looking at increased taxing of regular high sugar soda drinks. A 12-oz regular soda will contain about 120 calories. Several of those per day can add up to the calories of a meal causing Americans to take in additional calories that is leading to overweight and obesity. A small study has found that raising the price of regular soft drinks may reduce consumption and help lower levels of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Researchers examined soda sales during a time period when the cafeteria at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston increased the price of regular soft drinks by 35 percent, compared with a time period when the hospital launched an educational campaign on sugar intake, obesity and diabetes. The investigators also looked at a comparison site a nearby hospital that did not implement either intervention. Soft drink sales decreased 26 percent when the price was increased, but the educational campaign on its own did not affect sales. When the price increase and educational campaign were combined, sales fell an additional 18 percent.

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