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 from Brightsurf:

Scientists sound the alarm: Lockdowns may escalate the obesity epidemic
Emotional stress, economic anxiety, physical inactivity and social distance - locking down society to combat COVID-19 creates psychosocial insecurity that leads to obesity, warn three Danish researchers.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Processed foods highly correlated with obesity epidemic in the US
A review article from the George Washington University highlights the correlation between highly processed foods and increased prevalence of obesity in the United States.

Obesity epidemic results in NAFLD becoming most common cause of liver disease in Europe
Obesity epidemic results in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) becoming the most common cause of liver disease in Europe.

Today's obesity epidemic may have been caused by childhood sugar intake decades ago
Current obesity rates in adults in the United States could be the result of dietary changes that took place decades ago, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Researchers ID mechanism that may drive obesity epidemic
A molecular 'trick' that kept our ancient ancestors from starving may now be contributing to the obesity epidemic, a new study finds.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic
Toddlers with asthma are more likely to become obese children, according to the biggest study on the matter to date.

'Alarming' diabetes epidemic in guatemala tied to aging, not obesity
The diabetes epidemic in Guatemala is worse than previously thought: more than 25 percent of its indigenous people, who make up 60 percent of the population, suffer from type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, suggests a new study published in PLOS ONE from researchers at the Penn Center for Global Health

Expert panel compares opioid epidemic to early days of HIV epidemic
Experts are drawing on lessons learned from the early days of the HIV epidemic to address the current opioid epidemic.

Read More: Obesity Epidemic News and Obesity Epidemic Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.