Has Berkeley’s soda tax affected soda consumption?

Soda consumption is down in Berkeley, Calif., but whether that owes more to a soda tax or the public campaign around it is still under debate.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that soda consumption has plummeted since the tax took effect in January 2015, with residents drinking 21 percent less soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages and 63 percent more water. In neighboring San Francisco and Oakland consumers are drinking 4 percent more soda, along with 19 percent more water. A similar soda tax measure failed to pass in San Francisco in 2014, but both Oakland and San Francisco will be voting on the issue this year.

“We are looking for tools that support people in making healthy choices, and the soda tax appears to be an effective tool,” study senior author Kristine Madsen, an associate professor of public health at UC Berkeley, told Berkeley News. READ MORE.