Adult obesity and adolescent overweight rates have increased exponentially over the past three decades. Coincident with these rising rates, there has been a marked increase in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). SSB consumption has been associated with higher energy intake, reduced vitamin and nutrient intake, reductions in consumption of healthier beverages such as milk, and increased body mass index (BMI), risk of obesity and diabetes. The proposed research will examine the relationship between state and local sales taxes on SSBs, household beverage purchasing patterns, and weight outcomes among adults and adolescents in the U.S. for the three-year period, 2010-2012 Specifically, we will examine the relationship between state and local sales taxes on sports drinks, juice drinks containing less than 50% fruit juice, sweetened iced teas, and regular (non-diet) soda and: (1) beverage purchasing patterns for SSBs and non- SSBs (volume purchased and expenditure on such products);and (2) weight outcomes including BMI and obesity. This longitudinal study will build on the emerging soda tax-related literature to include examination of the relationship between state and local taxes on other SSBs (in addition to soda) as well as to add in the local tax component to previously conducted soda analyses.
The specific aims of this study are to test the hypotheses: 1) that higher SSB state and local taxes will lead to lower household SSB purchasing;and (2) that higher SSB state and local taxes will lead to lower BMI/obesity rates. Structural equation models (SEM) with ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and logit models (as appropriate) will link the tax data with: household purchasing and expenditure data obtained from the AC Nielsen Homescan data for 2010-12;adult BMI/weight outcomes obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the years 2010-12;longitudinal adult (ages 26-32) BMI/weight outcomes obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort (NLSY97) for the years 2010-12;and adolescent measured weight outcomes obtained from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (CNLSY79) cohort for the years 2010 and 2012. The state tax data will be obtained from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported Bridging the Gap Program;the local tax data will be compiled through primary data collection. All analyses will account for the moderating impact of individual level demographic and SES characteristics;will include state clustering;and will control for county level demographic and SES characteristics, health rankings and food store availability;state obesity and cigarette tax rates;year, and state fixed effects. We also will: (1) control for pre-tax prices;(2) conduct sensitivity analyses to account for individual level physical activity rates (in the BMI models);and (3) test for endogeneity using a series of instrumental variables. This research will provide additional evidence for policymakers as to whether implementing or increasing state and local SSB taxes is likely to affect SSB and non-SSB purchases and related weight outcomes.
Rates of adult obesity and adolescent overweight have increased exponentially over the last three decades. Coincident with the rising rates of obesity and overweight adults and adolescents, respectively, there has been a marked increase in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) which are associated with overall higher energy intake, reduced vitamin and nutrient intake, increased body weight, increased risk of obesity and diabetes, and reductions in consumption of healthier beverages such as milk. Building on the emerging research to examine the relationship between soda taxes and weight outcomes, this project will provide the public health community and policy makers with the most comprehensive exploration to date of the relationship between state and local SSB taxes on household beverage purchasing patterns and weight outcomes.
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