Every year, Americans drink 13.8 billion gallons of soda, fruit punch, sweet tea, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages—a mass consumption of sugar that is fueling soaring obesity and diabetes rates in the United States.
Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH) and Columbia University have analyzed the effect of a nationwide tax on these sugary drinks.
They estimate slapping a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages would prevent nearly 100,000 cases of heart disease, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 deaths every year.
"You would also prevent 240,000 cases of diabetes per year," said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF and acting director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at SFGH.
In addition to $13 billion in direct tax revenue, Bibbins-Domingo and her colleagues estimated that such a tax would save the public $17 billion per year in healthcare-related expenses due to the decline of obesity-related diseases.
"Our hope is that these types of numbers are useful for policy makers to weigh decisions," she said.
The High Cost of High Calorie Drinks
Consumption of beverages high in calories but poor in nutritional value is the number one source of added sugar and excess calories in the American diet. Sugar- sweetened drinks are linked to type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed reducing the intake of these beverages as one of its chief obesity prevention strategies in 2009, and several states and cities, including California and New York City, are already considering such taxes.
The analysis by Bibbins-Domingo and her colleagues is among the first study to generate concrete estimates of the health benefits and cost savings of such a tax. They modeled these benefits by taking into account how many sodas and sugary beverages Americans drink every year and estimating how much less they would consume if a penny-per-ounce tax were imposed on these drinks. Economists have estimated that such a tax would reduce consumption by 10 to 15 percent over a decade.
They then modeled how this reduction would play out in terms of reducing the burdens of diabetes, heart disease and their associated healthcare costs.
The article, "A Penny-Per-Ounce Tax On Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Would Cut Health And Cost Burdens Of Diabetes," by Y. Claire Wang, Pamela Coxson, Yu-Ming Shen, Lee Goldman and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo appears in the January issue of Health Affairs. See: http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0410
This work was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate.
UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.
U.S. Consumption of Sweet Beverages
13,800,000,000 gallons—total amount consumed by Americans in 2009 45 gallons—average U.S. consumption per person per year 17 teaspoons—the amount of sugar in a typical 22-oz sweet drink 70,000 calories—the average amount every American consumes per year in sweetened beverages Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0410
Diabetes in the United States
25,800,000—number of Americans who have diabetes 8.3—percentage of the U.S. population affected $174,000,000,000—annual cost of diabetes in the United States. 7th—leading cause of death in the United States Source: CDC
UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at SFGH http://cvp.ucsf.edu/
CA Diabetes Program http://www.caldiabetes.org
Related Stories: Sugar Is a Poison, Says UCSF Obesity Expert http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2009/06/8187/obesity-and-metabolic-syndrome-driven-fructose-sugar-diet
Sugary Drinks Are a Big Contributor to New Diabetes Cases, Researchers Say http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2010/03/5982/sugary-drinks-are-big-contributor-new-diabetes-cases-researchers-say
http://www.UCSF.edu | http://www.Facebook.com/ucsf | http://www.Twitter.com/ucsf | http://www.YouTube.com/ucsf
Jason Socrates Bardi | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy