12:30—2:00 PM
Center for Global Development
2055 L Street NW
- Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20036

Growing Revenue and Shrinking Waistlines: Are Soda Taxes a Win-Win Model in Middle-Income Countries?

Sharon Nakhimovsky
Sr. Analyst, International Health, Abt Associates

Andrea Feigl
Associate, International Health, Abt Associates

Ricardo Fenochietto
Senior Economist, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund

Claire Wang
Associate Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Sebastian Bauhoff
Research Fellow, Center for Global Development

Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), which can lead to weight gain, is rising in middle-income countries (MICs) in tandem with the prevalence of obesity. Evidence from high-income countries suggests that taxing sodas may reduce consumption, and governments in many MICs are considering such taxes. In this seminar, Sharon Nakhimovsky and Andrea Feigl will present findings from a systematic review of ten observational studies from Brazil, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru, and South Africa that assess post-tax price increases, change in demand for SSBs and other products overall and by socio-economic groups, and the effect of SSB price change on obesity prevalence. The review indicates that price increases from a tax may result in reduced consumption of SSBs. Evidence also suggests a negative relationship between SSB prices and obesity prevalence, after accounting for substitution effects. Based on this analysis, taxes on SSBs may be a promising policy tool for MICs to address rising obesity prevalence.


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