Soda tax in Illinois could raise millions, cut health costs

Illinois could raise $651 million a year in new revenue if it decided to levy a penny-per-ounce state tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Such a tax would also save the state millions in health care costs associated with obesity and diabetes, the study found.

The study—part of the ongoing Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES)—estimated that a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would prevent 116,000 cases of obesity and lead to a $733 million decrease in health care costs over a 10-year period.

“If you’re going to make a policy change, you want the best value for the money. And boy, a sugar-sweetened beverage tax is a really good value for the money,” said Steven Gortmaker, professor of the practice of health sociology at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study, in an April 25, 2017 Chicago Tribune article.

Read the article: Illinois soda tax could cut health costs, raise $561 million in revenue annually

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Sugary drinks taxes could reduce obesity, diabetes (Harvard Chan School news)

Sugary beverage taxes good for public health, reduce health care spending (Harvard Chan School news)