The billion-dollar reason more cities might stand up to Coke and Pepsi
On Wednesday, Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health released a study analyzing what would happen if the 15 largest US cities with the ability to pass a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks did so.
Researchers found the new laws would result in a nearly 20% drop in soda consumption in cities including Los Angeles, Detroit, and Denver. The study, which used computer modeling to project the impact of the proposed taxes, predicted that cities could generate a cumulative $942 million per year in revenue from the taxes.
In November, Boulder, Colo., joined three cities in California's Bay Area, including San Francisco, in passing soda taxes.
In the Bay Area, the three cities' combined annual revenue from the taxes is expected to exceed $22 million.
In Philadelphia, a 1.5-cent-per-ounce soda tax that passed in June is expected to raise about $91 million annually. The funds will be used to expand pre-kindergarten programs, improve parks, and offer tax credits for businesses that sell healthy beverages.
People who back soda taxes say that they help promote health by discouraging people from drinking sugary beverages.
"By following the example of the seven that have already acted, cities have a golden opportunity to help their people avoid premature death and illness and cut health costs while raising revenue to make residents' lives better in other ways," Jim Krieger, the executive director of Healthy Food America - the food policy nonprofit that funded the Harvard study - said in a statement.
According to the study, the passage of soda taxes in 15 additional cities would result in a 6% average drop in diabetes rates and the prevention of 58,220 cases of obesity in impacted regions.
Critics of taxes on sugary beverages say the taxes unfairly target soda companies and do not encourage healthier habits.
While the soda industry has spent millions of dollars fighting soda taxes, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are also investing in less-sugary drink options that wouldn't be subjected to the taxes. Both companies often highlight that an increasing percentage of their business comes from the sales of things like bottled water, healthy snacks, and tea - not soda.
NOW WATCH: Coke and Pepsi are ditching sugar
- Kellyanne Conway says her husband was 'cheating by tweeting' his disdain for former President Trump in her new memoir
- The worst for Indian startups is yet to come — be prepared for layoffs, unicorn slowdown and startup shutdowns in 2022
- A SpaceX flight attendant said Elon Musk exposed himself and propositioned her for sex, documents show. The company paid $250,000 for her silence.
- What would happen to Twitter if Elon Musk backs out now?
- Researchers develop a virus that works even when iPhone is switched off
- Supreme Court of India extends time for submitting Pegasus probe report
- Chopper services launched in Goa for tourists, locals
- Both Ambuja Cements and ACC are bet worth investing with strong parent Adani