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Resource: Taxing Sugary Beverages Makes Sense for our Health

Explainer Videos

This video explains why sugar-sweetened beverages are bad for your health and how such beverages have become a big part of our lives. We also explain how sugary-beverage taxes work, where they are successful, and how they help.


Do soda taxes actually work? They actually do in a lot of places already– just like tobacco taxes! Kelly Brownell of Duke University’s World Food Policy Center at the Sanford School of Public Policy explains.

Related Podcasts

Podcast - Christina Roberto - Soda Taxes

E30: Christina Roberto on Food Labeling in Guatemala and Soda Taxes in Philly
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Many policies have been proposed and enacted to help improve public health by changing their diet and preventing obesity. Among the most prominent, our efforts to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, ranging from programs that educate consumers about risks to the most dramatic approach: taxing such beverages. Evaluating these other policies is critical and understanding how governments can best move ahead. Leading the charge was such evaluation as our guest today on the Leading Voices in Food Dr. Christina Roberto from the University of Pennsylvania.

Podcast - Juan Rivera

E34: Juan Rivera on the Success of Mexico’s Soda Tax
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

For people around the world who believe that taxing sugared beverages is a good public health policy, the country of Mexico passing such a tax was a stunning victory. There was a significant need in Mexico to be sure, given high rates of obesity, especially in children, and very high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. But there was also a powerful beverage industry fighting the taxes. A fascinating story unfolded as the tax was being considered with a number of courageous and creative individuals at the center. One key figure is today's guest, Dr. Juan Rivera.

Podcast Jennifer Pomeranz

E35: Jennifer Pomeranz on Food Policy and Industry Tactics Driving Preemption
Thursday, April 25, 2019

In the past several years, cities in California led the way in passing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. Berkeley was first with Oakland, San Francisco and Albany, California following, each with the aim of improving public health by decreasing consumption of beverages known to be associated with obesity, diabetes, and other medical issues, and to raise revenue for needed programs. But then something historic happened: preemption. A leading expert on the application of the law on public health and on the issue of preemption is Jennifer Pomeranz.

Podcast - Jim Krieger Soda Taxes

E42: Jim Krieger on the Making of a Soda Tax
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Let's say that you are a public health advocate and would like to see a tax on sugar sweetened beverages established in your community. What steps would you take? What coalitions do you think you'd need to build. And how would you go about the extraordinary work of gathering support from both the public and political figures? Few people are in a position to tell the story in such a compelling way as today's guest Dr. James Krieger, who joins us from Seattle--one of the many places in the world that now has such taxes.

Podcast - international soda taxes

E43: Barry Popkin on the International Success of Soda Taxes
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Taxes on sugar sweetened beverages now exist in a number of cities in the United States, including Philadelphia, Oakland, and San Francisco, and in more than 40 countries around the world. These have been made possible by dedicated, passionate and talented people working on the science supporting the use of such taxes. They evaluated the impact of these taxes and have worked with governments to decide how taxes might be structured and implemented. And there is no person who does all these things better and does so in every corner of the world than Barry Popkin. International Success of Soda Taxes

Popkin Chile soda taxes

E44: Chile’s Health Strategy: Warning Labels, Soda Taxes, and Marketing Limits
Friday, June 14, 2019

So what happens when a country gets really serious...REALLY serious about tackling diet, nutrition, and chronic disease? Is there a country in the world that stands out for taking the most imaginative and strongest action? The answer is yes, and a person who knows a lot about this is our guest Barry Popkin.

Podcast - Neena Prasad soda taxes

E51: Neena Prasad on the Sound Benefits of Soda Taxes
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Imagine you've come to work for a major foundation and were asked to create a program on obesity prevention. With the vast array of possible things one might do, how in the world would you choose what might have the most impact, and what would be the most cost effective? This was the task of our guest Dr Neena Prasad, who joined Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2008.

Podcast - soda taxes- Hunt Allcott

E59: Hunt Allcott on the Optimum Soda Tax
Monday, October 21, 2019

Today's guest, Dr. Hunt Allcott, had two recent papers with colleagues Benjamin Lockwood and Dmitry Taubinsky, on whether soda taxes are effective, and how an optimal soda tax might be established. They were published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. These are important papers at an important time, given all the activity around the world on soda taxes.

Podcast Xavier Morales

E99: How Soda Taxes Can Drive Equity and Community Wellbeing
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Soda taxes now exist in about 50 countries around the world and in a number of US cities. They raise lots and lots of money. How would you suggest that the revenues be used? This podcast focuses on the connection between sugar-sweetened beverage taxes and racial and social equity. We're speaking today with a champion of community-driven approaches to health equity and environmental justice. My guest is Xavier Morales, the executive director of The Praxis Project, the national organization headquartered in Oakland and dedicated to supporting communities, building power for health.