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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


ORTUN, Vicente; LOPEZ-VALCARCEL, Beatriz G  and  PINILLA, Jaime. Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages in Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2016, vol.90, e20007.  Epub Oct 13, 2016. ISSN 2173-9110.

This article provides a critical review about the challenges that taxes on sugary drinks as an instrument of health policy must face to reverse the trend of the current epidemics of obesity. We analyzed the experiences of the leading countries, particularly Mexico, and reflect on the counterweight exerted by the industry against obesity policies, and on the power of lobbyists. Those tax policies for public health have to overcome the enormous strength of the industry, which is exerted in several-science and research, brand reputation, influence on regulators-levels. We suggest that a specific tax on sugary drinks has enough potential to reduce noncommunicable diseases and risk -diabetes mellitus, hypertriglyceridemia, lipoproteins, LDL, blood pressure- via reduced consumption thanks to the high price elasticity of those drinks. Furthermore, the effects are amplified even in the medium term, once established new habits to healthier eating. These taxes could encourage business innovation without inflicting costs of lost jobs and contribute to reducing the social gradient in obesity.

Keywords : Public Policy; Overweight; Obesity; Beverages; Hyperglycemia; Hypertriglyceridemia; Cholesterol; LDL; Hypertension; Diabetes Mellitus Type 2; Taxes; Spain.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )