In 2014, Berkeley, California, passed the first soda tax in the United States, with the aim to encourage consumers to make healthier choices when it comes to beverages. According to a new study, it looks like it’s working. The study, conducted by the Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina, found that the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages sold in Berkeley decreased by 9.6 percent from 2015 to 2016, Beverage Daily reported.
In the study, researchers evaluated the 15.5 million checkouts of supermarkets to see how many sugar-sweetened beverages were purchased. Drinks included in the study were soda, energy drinks, sweetened juice drinks, flavored waters, and ready-to-drink sweetened coffee and teas.
“The Berkeley tax is a home run — residents chose healthier options, it raised revenue for promoting health, and we saw no evidence of higher grocery bills for consumers or harm to local business revenue,” Lynn Silver, lead author of the study and senior advisor at the Public Health Institute, told Beverage Daily. “These findings suggest that sugary drink taxes make health and economic sense.”