A tax on sugary drinks in Illinois would reduce consumption of health-harming beverages enough to reduce incidence of diabetes, prevent about 116,000 of cases of obesity and avert millions in healthcare costs over 10 years, researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health have concluded.
Using a peer-reviewed model known as CHOICES, the researchers project in a new report that the tax of one cent per ounce would persuade many regular consumers of sugary drinks to shift to water or other, less harmful drinks. As a result:
- The incidence of diabetes would drop by an estimated 9 percent when the tax reaches full effect;
- 116,000 fewer people would be burdened with obesity at the end of 2025 than without the tax;
- Healthcare costs would drop by $733 million thanks to reduced chronic disease associated with excess sugar and weight gain.