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Overall and income specific effect on prevalence of overweight and obesity of 20% sugar sweetened drink tax in UK: econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study

Briggs, A. D. M., Mytton, O. T., Kehlbacher, A., Tiffin, R., Rayner, M. and Scarborough, P. (2013) Overall and income specific effect on prevalence of overweight and obesity of 20% sugar sweetened drink tax in UK: econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study. British Medical Journal, 347. f6189. ISSN 1468-5833

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f6189

Abstract/Summary

Objective To model the overall and income specific effect of a 20% tax on sugar sweetened drinks on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the UK. Design Econometric and comparative risk assessment modelling study. Setting United Kingdom. Population Adults aged 16 and over. Intervention A 20% tax on sugar sweetened drinks. Main outcome measures The primary outcomes were the overall and income specific changes in the number and percentage of overweight (body mass index ≥25) and obese (≥30) adults in the UK following the implementation of the tax. Secondary outcomes were the effect by age group (16-29, 30-49, and ≥50 years) and by UK constituent country. The revenue generated from the tax and the income specific changes in weekly expenditure on drinks were also estimated. Results A 20% tax on sugar sweetened drinks was estimated to reduce the number of obese adults in the UK by 1.3% (95% credible interval 0.8% to 1.7%) or 180 000 (110 000 to 247 000) people and the number who are overweight by 0.9% (0.6% to 1.1%) or 285 000 (201 000 to 364 000) people. The predicted reductions in prevalence of obesity for income thirds 1 (lowest income), 2, and 3 (highest income) were 1.3% (0.3% to 2.0%), 0.9% (0.1% to 1.6%), and 2.1% (1.3% to 2.9%). The effect on obesity declined with age. Predicted annual revenue was £276m (£272m to £279m), with estimated increases in total expenditure on drinks for income thirds 1, 2, and 3 of 2.1% (1.4% to 3.0%), 1.7% (1.2% to 2.2%), and 0.8% (0.4% to 1.2%). Conclusions A 20% tax on sugar sweetened drinks would lead to a reduction in the prevalence of obesity in the UK of 1.3% (around 180 000 people). The greatest effects may occur in young people, with no significant differences between income groups. Both effects warrant further exploration. Taxation of sugar sweetened drinks is a promising population measure to target population obesity, particularly among younger adults.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Food Economics and Marketing (FEM)
ID Code:34008
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group Ltd

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