Sugar-Sweetened Beverages are Now Cheaper than Bottled Water in Many Countries
The study by researchers from the American Cancer Society involved 40 high-income countries and 42 low-income and middle-income countries from 1990 to 2016.
A new report finds an increasing number of people worldwide can afford sugar-sweetened beverages, which may lead to higher rates of diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Overall they found 79 of the 82 countries reviewed in the study met the criteria for increased affordability of soda, meaning the proportion of income needed to purchase sugar-sweetened beverages, compared with the price of these drinks, declined.
“If they continue to become more affordable then most certainly consumption will continue to increase," which will lead to obesity problems and an increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer, Drope said.
China topped the list for the largest increase in affordability due to the decline in soda prices and increases in incomes.
At the same time, obesity rates in many of these countries continue to rise.” In recent years, soda giants such as the Coca-Cola Company have contended with bad press, including reports that many of the companies are funding studies that aim to show soda isn’t all that bad for your health, that it doesn’t matter what foods and beverages people consume for their daily calorie intake (even if it’s refined sugar) as long as high calorie food and drink is counteracted by physical activity.
“We’re making our low and no-sugar drinks more available and easier to find.” The company says it has reduced sugar content in more than 200 drinks worldwide in 2016, and plans to more than double that number this year.
Mexico was one of the first countries to try this tax with soda.
As a result, consumption of these drinks was reduced, on average, by 5 percent each month the first year, and nearly 10 percent the second year, according to Dr. Fabio Da Silva Gomes, regional advisor on nutrition for the Pan American Health Organization, part of the World Health Organization.
Drope says implementing an excise tax, cleaning up the water in countries where the supply isn’t potable and implementing better public messaging would likely be effective to reduce soda consumption despite the fact that more people are able to afford the products.