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US sugar tax stems consumption

Results from a US sugar tax have shown a near 10% fall in sales of sugary soft drinks in the twelve months following its introduction.

Research published in the journal Plos Medicine showed that sales of sugary drinks in Berkeley, California, fell by 9.6%, while sales of untaxed drinks rose by 3.5%. Sales of sugary drinks in surrounding areas with no tax rose by 6.9% over the same period.

The tax levies a cent per ounce on the cost of sugary soft drinks, equating to around 10% on the price of a $1 bottle of soda.

Boulder in Colorado along with the Californian cities of Albany, San Francisco and Oakland have recently voted to join Berkeley in introducing a tax on sugary soft drinks.

In the UK, the government plans to introduce a two-tiered levy that will apply to added sugar drinks with a total sugar content of 5 grams or more per 100 millilitres and a higher rate for drinks with 8 grams or more per 100 millilitres.

Legislation was set out in the Finance Bill 2017, published in March, with the levy set to come into effect in April 2018.