Sugar-sweetened drinks affect global obesity epidemic


Friday, 12 May, 2017


An American Cancer Society study has concluded that global efforts to address the obesity epidemic will be hampered with sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), which have become more affordable worldwide and more widely consumed.

The Preventing Chronic Disease journal found sugar-sweetened beverages became more affordable in 79 of 82 countries between 1990 and 2016, most often due to a combination of increases in income and decreases in price.

“In the countries studied, a person in 2016 could buy 71% more sugar-sweetened beverages with the same share of their income than they could in 1990,” said Jeffrey Drope, PhD, study co-author.

The authors also reviewed price trends for bottled water comparing them to SSBs to provide a control, and found that bottled water is typically more expensive and less affordable than SSBs.

The authors added, “The logical intervention is for governments to affect prices through excise taxation, as with other unhealthful products such as cigarettes.”

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