Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

BACKGROUND: Taxing soft-drinks may reduce their purchase, but assessing the impact on health demands wider consideration on alternative beverage choices. Effects on alcoholic drinks are of particular concern, as many contain similar or greater amounts of sugar than soft-drinks and have additional health harms. Changes in consumption of alcoholic drinks may reinforce or negate the intended effect of price changes for soft-drinks. METHODS: A partial demand model, adapted from the Almost Ideal Demand System, was applied to Kantar Worldpanel data from 31 919 households from January 2012 to December 2013, covering drink purchases for home consumption, providing ~6 million purchases aggregated into 11 groups, including three levels of soft-drink, three of other non-alcoholic drinks and five of alcoholic drinks. RESULTS: An increase in the price of high-sugar drinks leads to an increase in the purchase of lager, an increase in the price of medium-sugar drinks reduces purchases of alcoholic drinks, while an increase in the price of diet/low-sugar drinks increases purchases of beer, cider and wines. Overall, the effects of price rises are greatest in the low-income group. CONCLUSION: Increasing the price of soft-drinks may change purchase patterns for alcohol. Increasing the price of medium-sugar drinks has the potential to have a multiplier-effect beneficial to health through reducing alcohol purchases, with the converse for increases in the price of diet-drinks. Although the reasons for such associations cannot be explained from this analysis, requiring further study, the design of fiscal interventions should now consider these wider potential outcomes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/jech-2017-209791

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Epidemiol Community Health

Publication Date

04/2018

Volume

72

Pages

324 - 330

Keywords

Alcohol, Economics, SSB, Tax, elasticity, Alcoholic Beverages, Beverages, Carbonated Beverages, Choice Behavior, Commerce, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Diet, Family Characteristics, Female, Humans, Male, Models, Economic, Obesity, Poverty, Social Class, Sweetening Agents, Taxes