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!
Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München
Age research: A low level of the stress hormone cortisol contributes to the ageing process
01.07.2020 | Universität des Saarlandes
Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.
Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....
Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.
Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...
A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...
Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...
With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.
Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...
02.07.2020 | Event News
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
03.07.2020 | Life Sciences
03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses
03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering