Start Date: March 2019

ID #: 76299

Principal Investigator: Jessica Jones-Smith, PhD, MPH, RD

Co-Principal Investigator: James Krieger, MD, MPH

Organization: University of Washington

Funding Round: Round 11

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Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has emerged as an important healthy food and weight policy over the past five years. Seven US cities and more than 30 countries across the globe have adopted taxes on sugary drinks. Initial evaluations have found that these taxes raise the prices of sugary drinks and decrease consumption substantially, and well as raise revenues that may further support healthy eating and address social determinants of health, such as early education. However, stakeholders have raised equity concerns given the regressive nature of excise taxes. Therefore, objective evidence is needed to determine the nature and extent of tax payment regressivity versus net progressivity of the full tax policy. Using data from three large cities with SSB taxes (Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle), this study aims to: 1) quantify the extent to which taxes on SSBs are regressive in their economic burden; 2) examine the net economic impact of SSB taxes by considering the progressive investments of tax revenues; and 3) analyze how variation in tax design across cities affects the economic impact on low-income communities.

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