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Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could significantly reduce their consumption, according to a new report published in the journal Health Affairs. This could have an impact on the blood test results of individuals with diabetes, as well as the overall health of those at risk for heart health problems.
The researchers recommended placing a penny-per-ounce tax on soda. They estimated that this would decrease consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages by 15 percent.
The effect of this could be profound. The team estimated that diabetes rates would drop 2.6 percent and there would be 95,000 fewer heart attacks, 8,000 fewer strokes and 26,000 fewer premature deaths. The healthcare industry would save $17 billion over the first 10 years.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased dramatically over the past decade. Not coincidentally, so too have diabetes rates. By addressing one problem it may be possible to solve the other.
"Sugary soft drinks really are liquid candy, and their low purchase price hides the true costs of health problems associated with them," said Lee Goldman, one of the authors of the report.
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