Nav: Home

Sugar-sweetened beverages becoming more affordable around the world

May 04, 2017

A new American Cancer Society study concludes that sugar-sweetened beverages have become more affordable in nearly every corner of the globe, and are likely to become even more affordable and more widely consumed. The study appears in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, and concludes that without policy action to raise prices, global efforts to address the obesity epidemic will be hampered.

For the study researchers analyzed both real prices of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) as well as relative income prices, based on annual per capita income in 40 high-income and 42 low-income and middle-income countries around the world between from 1990 to 2016. They used Coca-Cola as a proxy for all sugar-sweetened beverages because it is the most globally recognizable sugar-sweetened beverage brand and widely available worldwide, comprising more than one-fourth (25.8%) of the global market in 2014, more than double its closest competitor.

They 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. Real prices dropped in 56 of the 82 countries.

"Overall in the countries we studied, a person in 2016 could buy 71 percent more sugar-sweetened beverages with the same share of their income than they could in 1990," said Jeffrey Drope, Ph.D., study co-author. "Sugary drinks became even more affordable in developing countries, where 2016's income could buy 89 percent more sugar-sweetened beverages than in 1990. That's essentially half-price."

"Although the increase in affordability is partly due to economic progress that resulted from rapid global economic development, it is also attributable to a lack of action taken by policy makers to affect the price of sugar-sweetened beverages," write the authors. "We argue and the scientific literature strongly suggests that this environment of increasingly affordable sugar-sweetened beverages will inevitably drive increased consumption of such products and will certainly hamper global efforts to address the overweight and obesity epidemic."

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 sugar-sweetened beverages.

Because rising incomes are a positive sign of growth, the authors say "the logical intervention is for governments to affect prices through excise taxation, as they have done with other unhealthful products such as cigarettes."
-end-
Article: Blecher E, Liber AC, Drope JM, Nguyen B, Stoklosa M. Global Trends in the Affordability of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages, 1990-2016. Prev Chronic Dis 2017; 14:160406. DOI: 10.5888/pcd14.160406.

American Cancer Society

Related Obesity Epidemic Articles:

Study of schoolchildren's soft drink consumption patterns suggests taxing sugar sweetened soft drinks could help tackle obesity epidemic
A study of the soft drink consumption patterns of more than 1,000 schoolchildren presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal, shows that overweight and obese children tend to drink more sugar sweetened soft drinks than normal weight children.
Zika epidemic likely to end within 3 years
The findings, from scientists at Imperial College London, also conclude that the epidemic cannot be contained with existing control measures.
NHS needs to perform more weight loss surgery to curb the obesity epidemic
The NHS should significantly increase rates of weight loss surgery to 50,000 a year, closer to the European average, to bring major health benefits for patients and help reduce healthcare costs in the long term, argue experts in The BMJ this week.
Obesity Day to highlight growing obesity epidemic in Europe
The growing obesity epidemic, which is predicted to affect more than half of all European citizens by 2030, will be the focus of European Obesity Day to be held on May 21.
What does turbulence have in common with an epidemic?
Fluid flows can take one of two forms: well-ordered 'laminar' or highly disordered 'turbulent' motion.
Battling obesity epidemic: New look at 'fat tax'
Small price differences at the point of purchase can be highly effective in shifting consumer demand from high calorie to healthier low calorie alternatives, according to a study in the Articles in Advance section of Marketing Science, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
Epidemic of obesity and overweight linked to increased food energy supply
This study investigates the associations between changes in national food energy supply and average population body weight in 24 high-, 27 middle- and 18 low-income countries.
Obesity and weight loss change splicing pattern of obesity and type 2 diabetes genes
Alternative splicing of obesity and type 2 diabetes related genes may contribute to the pathophysiology of obesity, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland.
Childhood obesity -- 1 epidemic or 2?
The research, led by the University of Exeter Medical School and part of the internationally respected EarlyBird Study, could have far-reaching implications for attempts to reduce the global epidemic of childhood obesity, as it indicates that very different approaches may be needed at various stages of development.
India needs to do much more to tackle its alarming TB epidemic
Effective tuberculosis control in India needs political will and commitment, backed by sufficient resources, says a senior doctor in The BMJ this week.

Related Obesity Epidemic Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...