Published: September 2023

ID #: 283-4131

Journal: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Authors: Lee MM, Gibson LA, Hua SV, Lowery CM, Paul M, Roberto CA, Lawman HG, Bleich SN, Mitra N, Kenney EL

See more related research

Share


In 2017, Philadelphia enacted a $0.015 per ounce excise tax on SBs that covered both sugar-sweetened beverages and artificially-sweetened beverages, which reduced purchasing and consumption. This study assessed whether the tax also changed beverage advertising or stocking practices that could influence consumer behavior among stores in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Philadelphia-adjacent counties not subject to the tax. Using a longitudinal difference-in-differences approach, beverage advertising and availability changes were evaluated from 4-month pretax to 6-, 12-, and 24-month post-implementation in small independent stores in Philadelphia (n=34) and Philadelphia-adjacent counties (n=38) versus Baltimore (n=43), a demographically similar city without a tax. Mixed effects models tested whether beverage advertising/availability increased in Philadelphia and surrounding counties after implementation versus Baltimore, included store-level random intercepts, and were stratified by beverage tax status, type, size, and store ZIP code income. Data were collected from 2016 to 2018, and analyses were performed in 2022–2023. SB advertising increased post-tax in Philadelphia (6 months= +1.04 advertisements/store [95% CI=0.27, 1.80]; 12 months= +1.54 [95% CI=0.57, 2.52]; 24 months= +0.91 [95% CI=0.09, 1.72]) relative to Baltimore. This was driven by increased advertising of sweetened beverages in low-income ZIP codes. Marketing of SBs increased significantly in Philadelphia-adjacent counties relative to Baltimore. Although SB availability in Philadelphia did not change, it increased in surrounding county stores (6 months= +0.20 [95% CI=0.15, 0.25]; 12 months= +0.08 [95% CI=0.03, 0.12]) relative to Baltimore. Marketing of SBs, especially in low-income neighborhoods and in surrounding counties, increased following Philadelphia’s beverage tax among small, independent retailers. These increases in advertising might have dampened the tax’s effect on purchasing behaviors, although estimated effects on sales remained large.

Related Research

April 2021

Changes in Beverage Availability and Targeted Marketing Associated with the Philadelphia Beverage Tax

The goal of this study is to provide much needed scientific evidence about whether the Philadelphia beverage tax is associate with changes in beverage availability and targeted marketing, with a focus on drinks commonly consumed by children ages 0-5 and Black and Latinx households with young children. Specific aims include: (1) Compare changes in retail More

November 2023

Evaluating the impact of state-level economic-support policies on the nutritional health of kids and families

To address ongoing concerns of child poverty across the United States, states have introduced and modified family economic security policies related to the state minimum wage (MW) and state earned income tax credit (EITC). While poor nutritional health disproportionately impacts children who experience poverty, few studies have examined the potentially beneficial effects of state-level MW More

November 2023

Effects of a front-of-package disclosure on accuracy in assessing children’s drink ingredients: two randomised controlled experiments with US caregivers of young children

This study aimed to test the effects of a standardized front-of-package (FOP) disclosure statement (indicating added sugar, non-nutritive sweetener (NNS) and juice content) on accuracy in assessing ingredients and perceived healthfulness of children’s drinks. In two randomized controlled experiments, the same participants (six hundred and forty-eight U.S. caregivers of young children ages 1-5 years) viewed More